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Slow Dance: Slow Motion Picture Frame

Slow Dance is a picture frame that creates the optical illusion of real objects moving in slow motion. The sculpture combines science, art, and technology to remind people of the natural mystery and wonder of the world. Slow Dance takes advantage of the limits of human visual perception to slow down objects right before your eyes.

Inspired by two newlywed dancers, Slow Dance makes slow motion footage accessible to people without high speed cameras. Slow Dance allows people to discover new things about the world by breaking the rules of reality.

slow motion

How the Slow Motion Works

Slow Dance looks like a regular wooden picture frame, except without any picture or glass. Two clips hold objects inside the frame, and are lit up by LED lights. A brass face-plate on the bottom of the frame controls brightness, modes, and switches the power on and off. Slow Dance needs to be plugged in for power.

The LED strobe lights blink 80 times a second, which is beyond the speed of human perception, creating the appearance of continuous light. By synchronizing the strobes with a high-speed vibration of an object, it creates the illusion of slow motion movement. This visual phenomenon, called persistence of vision, is also used in televisions.  By varying the timing, it’s possible to make objects appear to move in impossible ways.

The mode button allows you to play and experiment with your objects. Slow Dance mode appears as slow motion, while Double Trouble splits the object into two parts. Pop and Lock makes the object appear as if it’s jumping thorough space

Key Features

  • 12.5″ x 14.5″ x 2″ pine wood frame 
  • Includes stabilizer feet
  • Optional wall mounting hook and screw
  • Comes with two starter feathers
  • Extra rubber bands for mounting objects
  • Brightness knob
  • Mode button to change effects
  • Open source Atmel micro-controller firmware compatible with Arduino

Slow Motion

Pricing and Availability

The Slow Dance frame is available for $249 on Kickstarter, and comes packaged with two feathers. The frames can also be purchased in bundles of two, five, or ten at discounted prices.  Products are estimated to ship March 2017.

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