ERIC DYER

Eric Dyer is an artist and educator who brings animation into the physical world with his sequential images, sculptures, installations, and performances. As an animator, music video director, and experimental filmmaker, he spent years working at a computer to produce images for the screen. Longing to “get my hands back on the work,” Dyer returned to a tactile creative process. He began exploring the zoetrope, an early animation apparatus whose evolution as an art form was cut short by the rise of cinema. The device, popular in the 19th century, consists of a slitted drum whose interior is lined with a sequence of images. When the object is spun, the viewer peers through the apertures in the drum and the forms appear to move. By replacing the drum with a fast-shutter digital video camera, Dyer invented the process of making films from spinning sequential sculptures. Dyer continues to innovate with new tools and applications, moving his work off the screen and into real spaces. He views the zoetrope’s resurrection as a manifestation of universal desire for tactility and physical presence amidst our increasingly disembodied existence as we work, play, and socialize in virtual environments.


His work has been widely exhibited at events and venues such as the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, Ars Electronica, international animation festivals in numerous countries, the screens of Times Square, and the Cairo and Venice Biennales. He has been honored as a Fulbright Fellow, Sundance New Frontier Artist, Creative Capital Artist, and Guggenheim Fellow. Dyer's fervent exploration of expression through motion has placed his work in books such as Re-imagining Animation: the Changing Face of the Moving Image, Pervasive Animation, Animation: A World History, and A New History of Animation. He has been a visiting artist at institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, ECNU in Shanghai, and CalArts. Dyer teaches visual arts and animation at UMBC in Baltimore, MD and is represented by the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York City.



“By displaying the concrete machinery of illusion simultaneously driving an environmental, cinematic experience, Dyer fundamentally advances the staid practice of video installation.” George Griffin, independent animation artist and voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


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


“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, Editor, Animation Practice, Process & Production Journal


Leading academics in the field of moving image art have described Dyer's sculptures as “a whole new area of film experimentation and exploration,” and that they “breathe new life into animation as an art form.”


Artist Transforms Zoetropes From Retro Visuals To The Stuff Of Fine Art, Huffington Post


Eric Dyer video profile, Baker Artist Awards


Eric Dyer: Modern Master of the Zoetrope, Creative Capital profile video


Midnight Moment July 2015: Eric Dyer "Copenhagen Cycles Journey"


The Forgotton Art of the Zoetrope on TED.com



eric[at]ericdyer[dot]com