17.52, Wednesday 2 Jan 2008

What I like most about the Fit Song video by Cornelius [thanks] is the sugar cube stop motion animation near the beginning, because it's not just that the sugar cubes are being added to the chain one by one: there's a signal travelling down the chain, which means the entire scene iterates frame-by-frame. This reminds me of Yatima and Paolo, in Greg Egan's Diaspora, attempting to catch up with the Transducer civilisation by chasing successive subtly varying Transducer-made artifacts through nested 5 dimensional universes, where each universe is contained within a Planck-sized singularity hidden in the last. Each artifact looks like a totally non-moving solid, and it's only after they've passed to the 267,904,176,383,054th universe (with no way of getting back) that they realise the artifacts were successive iterations in time of the Transducer civilisation itself, uploaded to a computer, each of the Transducer's moments stretched to eternity in a given universe, existing only as a dynamic entity when skipping across them. Imagine living parallel to time, like that. A stop-motion city: a trillion Londons, side by side in a great circle around the Earth, iterating by a second each time, so you can walk from 1pm Oxford Circus to 2pm Covent Garden by crossing the M25 7,200 times.

(Actually you'd only get 1,460 Londons side by side before you ran out of planet and got back to where you came from. At a second per iteration, that's a little over 24 minutes.)

Here are multiple stencils of a figure, all over a city, that when seen in a certain order become a stop motion animation of someone walking towards you.

The Fit Song video is by the artist Tsujikawa Koichiro, currently showing at Tokyo's Mori art museum.

How about making a stop motion watch. 86,400 watches, side by side. It'd save on moving parts. Or perhaps a clock that only changes when you look at it.

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