Drawing out time's layers

Here’s an amazing video by Italian street artist Blu: Muto, “An ambiguous animation painted on public walls”, painstakingly produced in Baden (02007) and Buenos Aires (02008), and full of astonishing transformations and lovely interplays between 2D drawn space and 3D, physical elements…

Animation plays with how we experience time by constructing an illusory continuity. However, most of the time it aspires to immerse the viewer fully in the world it posits, by allowing no trace of the artist’s process or environment to sully the frame.

A fascinating twist comes when it’s executed in the street — which I don’t recall seeing until today. Even as every image is effaced by its successor, all leave a trace. But what’s especially cool about this, from a long now perspective, is how the foregrounded timescale of these drawings-in-motion (accented by “real time” sound effects) is overlaid on accelerated shifts in traffic, light and shade of the urban backdrop. This helps make the film at once both strangely ordinary and quite surreal: beautiful.

(Link. Thanks Jake!)

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The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

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