Gregory Barsamian’s career in imagining and constructing animated four-dimensional sculptures continues to awe and influence all who see his work. Gregory is a poet, philosopher, master craftsman, and a consummate artist. We have also been friends since 1992. I’m glad that Ithai was able to get Gregory to visit class and inspire everyone – including me.
As usual I strayed from the requirements of the assignment and used a twelve-inch vinyl record for the base of my zoetrope project. I almost couldn’t help it – Bleecker Bob’s is now a few blocks away from where I live. I’ve been buying records from them (on and off) in their current location for nearly… thirty years. While I no longer own a turntable, I can appreciate the great cover art of records – and a perfect base for my project! There is also the fact that they pay $15,000 a month for rent, a pretty irresistible force in a world of mp3 players and clouds.
I had my concept in mind as soon as we were given the assignment. After getting the vinyl base, the next thing I needed to do was to figure out how wide a “slice” I had for each of my sixteen frames.
This meant I had to first calculate the circumference:
C = Π D
Where C = Circumference D = Diameter and Π is 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510 (and so on. But I’m going to use 3.145, eventually.). ” indicates inches
The diameter of my twelve inch LP zoetrope is 12 inches. So:
C = 12 x (3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510) = 37.69911184307752″
C = 12 x 3.1415 which is equal to 37.698″
Circumference of our 12″ disc is = 12 x 3.14 whose value is 37.68″
Calculating the width of each section (segment) is pretty straightforward. Once you know the circumference and the number of images/frames, you can calculate the width of each image/frame. Image width can be determined using the following:
imageWidth = (2)x(Π)x(radius) divided by frames”
imageWidth is defined as the width of each image, radius is the radius of your spinning disc, and frames is the number of frames or stages your animation will contain.
Using the 12″ vinyl record as the spinning disc, the radius is 6″, and we are using sixteen frames. The equation looks like this:
imageWidth = (2 x 3.14 x 6) / 16
imageWidth = (37.68) / 16
imageWidth = 2.355″
The math can be checked by multiplying imageWidth by the number of frames/stages/segments. If our math is correct, 2.355″ x 16 frames should equal the circumference. In fact, this is what we get: 37.68″ (It works!).
To measure the sections in the record I cut a piece of wire a little under 2.4″ and marked a cardboard template accordingly.
Images to help illustrate the process follow. Here’s a link to a video from my iPhone.
Meanwhile, grab a turntable, some bits of wire, clay, wood, or whatever you can find, and make your own zoetrope!
ITP, Tisch School of the Arts
New York City