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The Last Rite of Passage

And what better way to visually represent it than in stroboscopic zoetrope format? By the inimitable Peter Hudson (who you may remember from the American Dream TantalUS and Homouroboros Monkey Tree zoetropes of years past).

 

What the hell is a zoetrope and how does it work? From wikipedia:

a device that produces an illusion of action from a rapid succession of static pictures. The term zoetrope is from the Greek words "zoe", "life" and τρόπος - tropos, "turn". It may be taken to mean "wheel of life".

 

Though in this case, quite cleverly: wheel of death. And rather than pictures, this device uses three-dimensional forms to create an animation. Most effective at night, the wheel comes to life when 12 people collaborate to tug on giant ropes which set the wheel into motion. Once it reaches the proper speed, a strobe light is activated, lighting each form in succession giving the illusion of fluid motion.

 

Represented here is Charon, the mythological ferryman who carries the souls of the deceased across the river Styx to Hades.

 

©2011 Steph Goralnick - Please do not publish or repost without permission

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Taken on September 3, 2011