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The word scrub is a term used in film editing, specifically, running an audio tape across a play head to find a cue but also applied to image frames. My memory of running film through an editing machine involved a hand crank.

When the photo iPod arrived, with it’s touch sensitive click wheel for scrolling, Apple, probably unintentionally, produced a device that would scrub through still images, and thus create animations that were controlled by the touch on the wheel.

I was immediately taken by this phenomenon, which resonates with early pre-cinematic devices such the flip book and zoetrope.

We created iPod scrubs in school, and then some flash code so that we could display these animations on our website.

With the new touch and iPhone devices, the wheel has gone, which is what gave me the idea of recreating the feel of scrubbing with a purpose built app.

Soon after getting the idea I saw a friend using an iphone camera to take a sequence of still images from a moving boat. I also had in mind artworks that I produced right at the start of my MA which where of water and flotsam swishing back and forth in Bristol docks. I created these moving still images with a handful of frames. I then saw similar work by another artist/friend, taking short movies of reflections in water.

A final thought was to build a frame for the itouch/iphone, and have a tap on the screen take the photo. Thus the device would become like a copy camera. Once the sequence is taken, running a finger across the screen will play it back.

I am fascinated by this space between the still and the moving image, and also the possibilities of the haptic interface to create movement or navigate through a narrative. I came across a New York artist, Aya Karpinska who had created what she called a ‘zoom narrative’, Shadows Never Sleep from the idea of which I created digital fairy stories, combining stop frame animation, pixelation, and a simple narrative.

The work that I have done this year has combined some of these ideas, with green screen techniques, and a vertical camera position, to enable the actors to defy gravity.

Although the experiments are very basic, and far from finished pieces, they hold a fascination and a great deal of potential. The making of them was also great fun, combining filming with rolling about on the floor.

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