ISSN: 20456271
First published in 2012
2 issues per volume
Volume 5 Issue 1
Cover Date: June 2016
The moment of unmoving
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Authors:  Dane Watkins 
DOI: 10.1386/ubiq.5.1.107_1

animation,public screens,interfaces,film theory,sensors,movies

Movies never wait they live in perpetual motion, locked in an illusion that merges a succession of static pictures into a new temporal image. If a movie stops because the projector breaks or the tape is stuck then the illusion is lost and the image collapses into its separate parts. Movies move in one direction and cannot respond to anything but themselves; they are governed by their own internal logic and remain unmoved by their external context. As more screens become embedded into our physical spaces there is an opportunity for the movie to take pause and through sensors respond to its environment. Yet schedulers are stuffing the big screens with old content, movies designed for TV and cinemas. Adverts tightly cut into 30-second slots are screened repeatedly into a space where they have all day, they could take their time. This article will discuss examples of how a movie might pause while it waits for something to happen. Animators have used loops to bridge moments of dramatic action. The onlookers in Popeye the Sailor by Fleischer (1933) quiver with anticipation as they prepare for the action to unfold around them. Roobarb and Custard by Godfrey (1974) waits in a shimmering tree, a looping construct that lives in between the edges of its drawings, an approximation of its constituent parts. The animated loop is a fixed temporal object waiting perhaps to cross over into the physical world and interact with the environment and passersby.
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