If I asked you what a mutoscope was you most probably will be puzzled. If however I add another clue, 'what the butler saw', well I bet you understand now! The mutoscope was a motion picture device whose design meant that only one person at a time was able to view the film. In its heigh day it dominated the coin-in-the-slot peep-show business.
My biggest problem for my Masters show is working out how to engage a disinterested audiendce. Not that my work needs to be viewed to be successful. I make my art not to sell or be seen but because it moves me. However, that said, I would still like others to derive pleasure from, question my intentions, rediscover or enhance their sense of wonder, and/or begin to engage with the world around them.
What I have learned to date with my making is that we love to play - both children and adults alike. I think that is why so many of my friends have asked to take part in my 'message in a bottle' launchings. Similarly since making my viewmaster reel I have watched my friends take much pleasure from holding the viewer up to the light then clicking the button again and again to reveal each exhibit; often viewing the reel two of three times.
Rather than make lots of reels I decided to consider other ways I could entice my viewers through intimacy and play: hence the mutoscope. Not that there are mutoscopes readily or cheaply available on eBay. A trip to the local junk yard helped me find the solution in an old hand cranked grinder. Added to this some thick elastic, a number of paper document clips, epoxy resin and a sequence of stop motion images.
My prototype is now complete however I intend to refine the design further with a stronger belt drive to replace the elastic and a new sequence of images.