Wednesday, May 22, 2013


The phenakistoscope is built on a succession of formal symmetries that, once activated, produce a narrative. In yesterday's example the narrative is a succession of ascending balloons.

As a child, the ascension of a balloon was my first indication that the sky could be infinite, that once released, a balloon would rise forever, with nothing to stop it. Only later I did I learn that atmospheric pressure would eventually pop that balloon, but the idea of the infinite sky remained with me.

In February 2012, Kevin Schmidt released a balloon in Northern Alberta. Attached to the balloon was a camera, which eventually fell to earth.

Below is a picture of what Schmidt hoped to capture with this year's balloon launch:

This is what he came up with:

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