In 2010, Mark Rosen and Wendy Marvel collaborated in the creation of what they termed as “LED-less tech art”. Among their art projects was a split-flap art piece inspired by the old-fashioned arrival/departure signs used in train stations. Rosen, however, has to build his own mechanism from used ink-jet printer parts. Kinetic Artist Mark Arnon Rosen Invented a
Despite the DIY quality, the duo’s first flip-art book became hugely popular so they worked on refining the flip mechanism and exploring ideas for animation. They created a series inspired by Edweard Muybridge’s iconic photographic sequences, which became hugely popular at a makerfaire in 2012. Known as the Mechanical Flip Books, these became the basis for the Mechanical Flipbook Art and Kit.
Basically, the kit allows DIY enthusiasts to create moving art via a motorized mechanism. The kinetic art tells stories from several frames while also encouraging a sense of nostalgia in its creators.
The FlipBooKit Mechanical Flipbook Art and Kit is the cheaper and simpler version of Rosen and Marvel’s motorized flipbooks. The latter are also only available in limited editions while the former can be purchased easily by DIY enthusiasts.
The FlipBooKit team – and it includes Steve Goldstein, an inventor with more than a dozen patents to his name, manufacturing designer, and former imagineer at Disney – regularly receives art submissions using their inventions worldwide. The submissions range from original ideas to popular movie GIFs.
Their sense of satisfaction comes from the knowledge that their kit encourages the creative growth of young makers and artists, among others. The kit has been used in art schools, high schools, maker spaces, and summer camps, too, so its magical appeal continues to spread.
Each kit is relatively easy to assemble while the ideas for the images usually come from the users. Once finished, the flipbooks attract and hold the attention of viewers so it’s a great way to send a message, entertain people, and just generally challenge one’s creativity.