Artist James Nolan Gandy is known for his mix of artistry and mechanical ingenuity. His mechanical drawing machine not only produces incredible drawings that put your childhood Spirograph to shame, but also results in mesmerizing videos of the drawing process. However, one of his latest videos captured our attention for a different reason.
The time-lapse actually makes it appear as though the drawing is growing faster than the machine is actually moving. The ink seems to ooze like liquid across the paper, much faster than the pen can keep up. It’s both fascinating and confusing to watch.
So to what do we owe this optical illusion? It’s actually the same stroboscopic effect that we’ve seen freeze bird wings or make a helicopter appear frozen in mid-air. The illusion occurs because the camera’s shutter is almost perfectly in synch with the subject, slowing down the mechanical drawing machine dramatically in comparison with the drawing.
But Gandy doesn’t need a special illusion to make his work fascinating. Even his videos without the slowed down effect are hypnotic to watch. And if you like what you see, he sells the finished spiral drawings via his website at quite reasonable prices.