SEAT & Spin, please

SEAT and Spin

Webster Crowell, from Seattle Experimental Animation Team, joins us a guest with a little background on SEAT, their current exhibit at 4Culture and zoetropes. Come see their mighty zoetropes and give them a spin in Gallery4Culture by Friday, March 28th.


The Seattle Experimental Animation Team (SEAT) has members of all stripes, the uniting element is a stubborn streak that makes people create work one frame at a time.

Membership swells and breathes as people move and vanish into their projects (short films, features, commercials, tours) between us all are hours of finished work – thousands of frames drawn, sculpted, photoshopped, constructed and rendered.  We’ve created public screenings and installations in Seattle and Portland and touring programs to travel the world.

Being chosen for a 4Culture show posed a challenge: how to represent so many people and styles?  Framed animation frames?  Hours of video on the walls?  Suitcases full of finished frames from our collective closets?

We settled on Zoetropes because they’re an evenhanded presentation – Everyone has 15 frames, let the audience decide how fast and which direction they play.

Evidence of Zoetropes dates back centuries although they came to popularity in 19th century Europe as tabletop novelty devices with interchangeable cartoon strips lining their interiors.  Precursors to projected cinema, these split second animations were the forerunners to motion pictures and all the animation that was about to pour onto the screen.  Technology being what it is, Zoetropes are largely forgotten, but a century after their popularity, the cinema has retreated into people’s homes again, short subjects viewed on desktops are here again, so why not bring back the original short subject?