Cyclotrope Cinema is a project that utilizes basic animation, repurposed bicycle parts, and pedal-powered video projection to create a platform for learning, making and exhibiting animated film loops. The project will culminate in a series of unique outdoor events in Topeka, Kansas. Through free workshops and a physically engaging exhibition format, Andrea Steudel and Karl Fundenberger will invite a large and diverse group of participants to make art.

Cyclotrope Cinema is inspired by two distinct concepts. One is an old animation technique called the zoetrope, in which a small, rotating, slotted cylinder creates an illusion of movement for a single viewer.  Another is Katy Beverdige’s recent dissertation research in which she attached a camera to a bicycle with animation-adorned wheels and used delayed frame rate to simulate the zoetrope effect in post-production. This effect cannot, however, be viewed with the naked eye.

Mobile video projection tour. Urban Caravan bike-along participants experienced mash-up sounds and video from radios attached to their bikes and video projections on adjacent underpasses along a mile of the Minneapolis Greenway, 2010

Lead artist Andrea Steudel says: “Cyclotrope Cinema aims to create an experience that bridges these two approaches; where the physical and immediate aspects of the zoetrope can be felt and experienced, while also creating an exhibition to be enjoyed by a mass audience. The physical manifestation will be akin to loading up a film reel (a bike wheel) onto a projector (a repurposed bike frame and digital projector).”

The artists are inspired by the multitude of instructional information online and eager to contribute to it by creating a DIY guide for the Cyclotrope player. The workshop format will be perfect for entry level to animation, using techniques similar to making a flip-book, and they also hope to engage and connect the burgeoning cycling and arts communities in Topeka.

About the artists:

Andrea Steudel is an art producer and maker from the Midwestern United States, recently acting as the Producer for Northern Spark nuit blanche, and site manager for Giant Sing Along by Living with Our Time. Steudel specializes in creating mobile platforms for the broadcasting of technology-based media. She is a founding member of the acclaimed Minneapolis Art on Wheels ensemble and has worked with them in San Jose, Beijing, Grand Rapids, Istanbul, Budapest and other cities around the United States. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley and is an alumna of the University of Minnesota’s Undergraduate Program in Experimental and Media Arts. She is also a former Art(ists) On the Verge Fellow, with project grants from Forecast Public Art and the Jim Henson Foundation.

For more information, see the artist’s website.

Karl Fundenberger is a cyclist, internaut, and new urbanism activist in Topeka, Kansas. He likes to work in small groups to create big impact, and is involved with the NOTO Arts District, the Chords & Oil art collective, and the Topeka Community Cycle Project.

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