Image credit: Michael Holden
Of all the images I’ve seen over the last week that have filled me with regret that I couldn’t attend Burning Man 2011, this one really captured my imagination. It is a three-dimensional zoetrope by returning San Francisco based artist, Peter Hudson. Titled Charon, after the mythological ferryman who carries souls into the world of the dead, it is inspired by the 2011 theme, “Rights of Passage.” I can’t wait until some moving images appear online showing this huge sculpture in action.
A zoetrope is an ancient device that uses a spinning action to create the illusion of animation from a succession of still images. Where traditional small scale zoetropes use slots to view through, stopping the eye from blurring the spinning images together, Hudson, uses a strategically paced strobe light to create the same optical effect.
This the fifth stroboscopic zoetrope Hudson has brought to the Playa, following Sisaphysh in 2002, Deeper in 2004, Homouroboros in 2007 and Tantalus in 2008. In one looped sequence of action, Hudson uses his three-dimensional creations to tell a story that lasts mere seconds. In Tantalus, hands reached out of a giant spinning Uncle Sam hat to dangle a golden apple infinitely out of reach of grasping human figures. Charon is Hudson’s largest scale playa-art yet.
Hudson is also passionate about locating his art on the outskirts of the playa. There really is nothing like riding far out into the dust and finding something you never expected to see.
View Peter Hudson’s kickstarter video to learn more about Charon in the planning stage.
Visit his website to see video and photos of his other works.