ZOËTROPE SUN : arts letters & numbers


Life Turning Sun : Sun Turning Life.

The camera establishes a filter: a blanket absorbing light from the world projecting duration to the screen, a storm, pushing and pulling duration, and then a story. Particles of memory are broken free. They float off, inversely reducing external time. The world is inverted: a negative. Within this Zoetrope, another state-change, another condensation for the duration of the film, the world is still, an intermediary sheet of frozen time existing in both present and past.


From the far reaches of the cosmos to our evolution as a species, to the history of civilization, to our present-tense experience, light is an arrow turning through multiple time frames offering insight into all aspects of human experience and activity. Light is fundamental to all forms of life so much that it tests the limits of human comprehension. Our attempts to comprehend light are doorways into the process of comprehension itself. This is where the dawn light meets and commingles with the light of the dawn of the universe.

Our Solar System contains countless Zoëtropes. The Earth itself can be understood as a Zoëtrope as its surfaces ceaselessly turn through state-changes. The sun’s heat establishes a filter for its light as the clouds form a floating blanket of evaporation, absorbing from below, backlit from above. Many suns are caught, held up by this parasol of evaporation, as some rays pass through, projecting upon the surfaces below. Then drops of rain fall, returning to the total, each reflecting their own sun, each forming a brief circle upon re-entry, an ungovernable storm of geometry, and then a rainbow.



During the four-week intensive workshop, we will bring together Architects, Artists, Filmmakers, Musicians, Composers, Physicists, Poets, Craftspeople, Photographers, Actors, Mimes, Chefs, Magicians, Historians, Scientists, and Scholars to co-construct a disciplinary Zoëtrope: a living system of knowledge-transformation turning within light and time, water and clouds, life and still life, cameras and projectors, nights and days, words and voices, an emergent microclimate that evokes the origins of life itself—animation, anima, zoë, life—a “Zoëtrope Sun”.

Each year we look to new questions, territories, and challenges for the Summer Workshop project. We hope for the workshops to be a place for the discovery of new works and ideas. Each of our previous workshops has been essential to the growth and transformation of Arts Letters & Numbers. This year’s Summer Workshop is taking form as another vast and cross-pollinating project.

Visiting Artists
The Workshop will be directed by David Gersten and co-taught by Arts Letters & Numbers Fellows and a wide range of visiting artists, scientist and scholars including; Michael Benson, Robert Dalton Harris, Diane DeBlois, Gearoid Dolan, Ed Keller, Rich Kuperberg, Bill Morrison, Laurie Olinder, Louise Pelletier, Alberto Perez Gomez, Wes Rozen, Jessie Shefrin, and Uri Wegman.

All the work will be shared though a series of exchanges including lectures, readings, critiques, workshops, and performances. The conversations will offer the opportunity for individual disciplines to speak to one another and create new associative linkages through the questions asked.

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