Choreographing Time: Developing a System of Screen-less Animation

MacGillivray, Carol. 2014. Choreographing Time: Developing a System of Screen-less Animation. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (Choreographing Time: Developing a System of Screen-less Animation)
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Abstract or Description

The Diasynchronoscope is an experimental medium that draws on tropes from animation, film and Gestalt grouping principles to create the perception of screen-less apparent motion. Each developing artwork reveals more formalisms and boundaries inherent to the medium. Through documentation and discussion of selected artistic case studies this research interrogates the Diasynchronoscope as an emergent new medium. Formalisms are developed through studio practice and tested in exhibited artworks. The results of these evolving interactions are observed and contextualised using existing frameworks from Film Studies and Psychology.

Inside the Diasynchronoscope static objects are grouped according to Gestalt laws and animation principles to create sequential visual cues that, when lit with projected light, demand selective attention; thus creating the illusion of animated movement. The animation is immersive, sharing the same space as the observer so that they perceive a continuous flow of movement that resembles, at a physiological level, interaction with a real-life moving object. The technique has been named the ‘diasynchronic’ technique and the system; the ‘Diasynchronoscope’. The name combines diachronic, (the study of a phenomenon as it changes through time) with synchronous and scope (view). In being so named, it evokes the early animation simulators such as the phenakistoscope and the zoetrope, regarded as direct ancestors of the project as they too function both as art objects and experimental media.

This research intends to show that the Diasynchronoscope is a new medium for experiencing apparent movement, and as such, it offers an opportunity for updating some theorisations in Visual Studies. It is a further conjecture of this thesis that as a system capable of producing replicable experiments of enactive perception of apparent motion the Diasynchronoscope could provide a useful new tool for perceptual psychologists and that some discoveries made in this hybrid study may provide potential useful cross-over areas of study.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Animation, screenless, Diasynchronoscope, Mixed Reality, Arts, Computing Technology, Projection mapping

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



3 November 2014

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

04 Nov 2014 13:36

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 09:05


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