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About Eric

About my work I continuously reinvent the zoetrope, a pre-cinema optical toy, creating unique methods of expression and exploring the ways it filters my ideas. I am now particularly interested in how the physical presence of animated objects surpasses the experience of viewing moving images on screen. Bio Eric Dyer is an artist, filmmaker, experimental animator, and educator. His award-winning films have screened internationally at numerous festivals, including the Chicago International Film... more

Video shorts

Award-winning shorts from the past decade.

Media Archeology 2110

On a flooded Earth of the future, an archeologist finds and attempts to view a forgotten medium.

The film was created by cutting, burning, weaving, and wrapping 35mm movie trailers.

Collaborations with Symphony Orchestras

My first such collaboration was with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2004. I went on to create a class entitled Visual Symphony- my students collaborated and presented with both the BSO (2006) and the Brooklyn Philharmonic (2008).

  • Process

    UMBC Visual Arts student John Rouse teaches Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist how to use the live video triggering system.
  • Process

    Whiteboard with the students' plan for the progression of visuals in the "Try to Believe" video.
  • Kudos

    Front page exposure for the students' project.
  • Brooklyn Trip

    The 2008 UMBC Imaging Research Center Visual Arts Fellows pose in front of the Brooklyn Museum, where their video was presented live on stage.
  • Process

    Students reacted via zoetrope sculptures to Brooklyn Philharmonic Composer-in-Residence Randall Wolff's Try to Believe composition.
  • Try to Believe (2008, student video)

    Students from my UMBC Imaging Research Center Fellows course Visual Symphony collaborated with the Brooklyn Philharmonic- their synchronous video was projected at the Brooklyn Museum on stage with live musicians as part of the BP's contemporary chamber music series Traversing the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Fanfare (video, 2004)

    My MFA thesis project and a collaboration with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for the Symphony in Motion program, Marin Alsop, Conductor. Set to John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine.
  • Shout (student video, 2006) still

    Students from my UMBC Imaging Research Center Fellows course Visual Symphony collaborated with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra- their synchronous video was projected at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on stage with live musicians.

Experiments with zoetrope form

Experiments with what other forms my zoetropes might take: umbrella, hot air balloon, LP record. Development of these prototypes was fueled by time and funds from a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Copenhagen Cycles

A bicyclist travels through a fantastical, collaged reconstruction of Denmark's capital.

About 25 zoetrope-like paper sculptures were built to create the film.

Implant

Implant is an imaginary medical device that hypothetically fits into a blood vessel, neuron, etc. It is super-enlarged, making the viewer feel microscopic. Implant plays with the paradoxical threat and promise of bleeding-edge anatomically invasive medical practices. The "nanomites” are cell-sized robots performing unknown tasks in the body. The installation is a combination of a large rotating tubular sculpture and projections of live video feeds from cameras aimed at the strips of 3D-printed/laser-cut/hand-painted animation on the tube.

Live zoetrope-video performances

Spinning zoetropes live as part of the Armory Show after-hours events in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at Bunnycutlet Gallery. Live VJ performance is an ongoing part of my art practice, allowing for spontaneity and testing of animations-in-progress which are part of my longer-term/larger-scale projects. I have also performed at the Tropic Cinema, Key West, FL (collaboration with pianist Jiayin Shen); MoMA Jacksonville, FL; and various venues in Baltimore (with band Batworth Stone).

  • Batworth Stone visuals

    Live visual zoetrope performance with band Batworth Stone, The Windup Space, Baltimore, MD
  • Batworth Stone visuals

    Live visual zoetrope performance with band Batworth Stone, The Windup Space, Baltimore, MD
  • Rate of Light

    Bunnycutlet Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
  • Rate of Light

    Bunnycutlet Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
  • Rate of Light

    Bunnycutlet Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
  • Rate of Light

    Bunnycutlet Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
  • Rate of Light

    Bunnycutlet Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
  • The Eternal Drive

    Promo poster for collaborative performance with pianist Jiayin Shen, Tropic Cinema theater, Key West, FL. Culmination of my residency at The Studios of Key West.
  • Rate of Light

    Press Release
  • Rate of Light

    2013, paper and acrylic, live video Performance at Bunnycutlet Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Geotropes

The Geotrope project transforms both natural and urban/industrial landscapes into animated organic-synthetic hybrid sculptures. The first geotropes have been cut into the landscape. Future geotropes will consist of objects placed in the landscape.

The Bellows March

The Bellows March (a.k.a. Bellows), runs anthropomorphized concertinas through a cycle of destroy-create-destroy, contemplating the destructive and expressive potential of humans, and observes these extremes as an eternal cycle.

“…a most unusual and very old 19th century zoetrope cyclical device using 21st Century combined techniques places it in a separate category that may have to be invented....”
Bill Matthews, Disney Features, Head of Training

  • Poetry in Motion at Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria

    Museum Director Gerfreid Stoker and me at the Bellows installation, which was exhibited as part of the opening of the new Ars Electronica Center, when Linz was the European Capital of Culture (2009).
  • Installation at Avesta Art, Sweden

    Children viewing the animation on the zoetropes with liquid crystal shutter glasses.
  • Bellows installation at Siggraph 2008

    At the Los Angeles Convention Center. A group from Japan taught me how to build special liquid-crystal shutter glasses, allowing the public to view the zoetrope sculptures without the aid of video cameras or strobe lights.
  • Process still

    Shooting The Bellows March video.
  • Bellows Skate

    2009, 16"x10"x16" Zcorp 3D print, acrylics One of 18 zoetrope sculptures from the project.
  • Bellows Skate-Helix Transition

    2009, 8"x10"x8" Zcorp 3D print, acrylics One of 18 zoetrope sculptures from the project.
  • Bellows Rockettes

    2009, 16"x4"x16" Zcorp 3D print, acrylics One of 18 zoetrope sculptures from the project.
  • Bellows installation at Siggraph 2008

    Six zoetrope sculptures from the project, Los Angeles Convention Center. "By displaying the concrete machinery of illusion, Dyer fundamentally advances the staid gallery practice of video installation. He delightfully joins the nineteenth century with the twenty-first, and lets the viewer compare self-contained zoetrope space with a video surround." George Griffin, Eric Dyer: Take the B Train, Pervasive Animation, Edited by Suzanne Buchan, AFI Film Reader Series, Routledge
  • The Bellows March (video, 2009)

    Crowds of concertinas live out a cycles of destroy-create-destroy. “…visually and aurally mesmerizing. it is rare to see something this unique and well realized.” Frank Mouris, creator of Frank Film “…one of my top 5 films this year. It captures beautifully so many of the very elemental aspects of what animation is about – it blends some techniques that are as old as the filmmaking with some of the latest technologies…. The devices the filmmaker uses to form these visuals are beautiful sculptures in their own right.

A Video Introduction, and The Zoetrope Tunnel

First, a video about my work.

And: The Zoetrope Tunnel is an immersive walk-through animated sculpture.

  • Eric Dyer

    A "shareable" video by Creative Capital in which I discuss my art and why I am moved to make The Zoetrope Tunnel. "Dyer’s work bestrides cinema and gallery, time and technology, animation and animus, and effectively re-imagines animation through its long, lost past." Paul Wells, author, Re-imagining Animation: the Changing Face of the Moving Image
  • Zoetrope Tunnel 3D visualization

    The Zoetrope Tunnel is a 9ft diameter, 20ft long rotating tube. Sculptural paper “frames” of printed, cut, and layered animation are tiled on a spiral path, covering the inner and outer tube, wrapping over the ends, doubling back to the start, creating both a structural and narrative loop. A footbridge spans the inside of the spinning tunnel. Visitors shine handheld strobe lights as they walk through and around the tunnel–- the content is revealed wherever the lights are directed, in all of its dimensional, animated splendor.

Connect with Eric

Eric's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.