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Monkey around with this spectacular, interactive zoetrope by artist Peter Hudson. Stretching 22 feet above the Exploratorium’s public plaza, Homouroboros features a treelike steel and aluminum frame that curves like a mushroom cloud over 18 human-sized monkeys hanging from its branches. At the base of the tree are 10 drums. By pounding the drums, you can make the entire artwork spin.
At 20 rpm, Homouroboros springs to animated life. The monkeys’ rotation is synced to strobe lights at night, and, during the day, to masks with shutter lenses. Your visual system combines the 18 monkeys into a single animation of a monkey swinging from branch to branch, reaching for then devouring an apple from a snakelike hand.
Peter Hudson built his first large-scale zoetrope in 2002, inspired by the movement studies of the nineteenth-century French scientist and film pioneer Étienne-Jules Marey. Hudson’s latest zoetrope, Eternal Return, will be completed in 2014. All have been realized with the creative energy and expertise of more than 50 dedicated volunteers.
Homouroboros was originally commissioned by Burning Man in 2007. The exhibition of Homouroboros at the Exploratorium is copresented by the Black Rock Arts Foundation.
Photo by mike-orso.com