#1 Mechanical Flipbook

Mark Arnon Rosen & Wendy Marvel

Los Angeles, USA

Learn more about the Event
in Los Angeles on Sep 27th, 2014

Mark Arnon Rosen & Wendy Marvel - Mechanical Flipbook

People first discovered that photographs could be sequenced and viewed as moving pictures back in the 1890s, and it’s this era that Wendy and Mark like to acknowledge in their flipbook work. It all started at the beginning of 2010, when they traveled to Europe and the Middle East; the fell in love with the turn-of-the-(last)-century mechanisms and machines they saw there, especially the split-flap (or Solari) departure/arrival boards in train stations, with their mesmerizing “click-clack-click-clack.”

Mark Arnon Rosen & Wendy Marvel - Mechanical Flipbook Mark Arnon Rosen & Wendy Marvel - Mechanical Flipbook

Back in L.A., Wendy and Mark fed their new mechanical obsession by taking field trips to old aerospace junk yards and rummaging through the obsolete equipment. Wendy was enchanted by the look of it all—metals, knobs and dials and buttons—and the design of a long-gone era. Mark, on the other hard, was excited about the guts. (He always wants to see how things work.) They had also started interacting with a local hackerspace, and it soon became clear that tech art was a natural progression for them.

Here’s the real secret of their craft: magic. Their greatest satisfaction lies in watching wonder and joy overtake people when they crank the handle on a flipbook. Adults giggle like children, and kids scowl, open-mouthed, with intense concentration as they try to figure out how it works. No matter how many times one creates the illusion of motion, one wants to do it again and again.

Mark Arnon Rosen & Wendy Marvel - Mechanical Flipbook


Order your personal Leica T MECHANICAL FLIPBOOK EDITION in our online shop.

Visit our Shop


Mike Arnon Rosen

Mark Arnon Rosen & Wendy Marvel - Mechanical Flipbook

Simply why?
Because, by some act of magic/nature/God or circumstance of chance, we are all here together sharing this time. And even though we all may have the capacity realize that there is more depth to this experience than our animal survival, it is important to have reminders. Sharing beauty, awe, profound thoughts and high ideals, and sometimes pain are the reason why. Sharing.

When and where were you born?
I was born at the end of the post-WWII "baby boom". February, 1963 and grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley called Encino, named after the native oak trees in the region. A special family My father was a scientist working for one of the many aerospace companies in our area. My mother is a holocaust survivor who posses a unique view of life. She was also a physicist, but decided when I was born, (I was the the 3rd of 5 sons) to be a full-time mom. With all my brothers, many pets and a few farm animals, a large backyard to play in and retreat to, lots of neighborhood kids, and an occasional visit to my one of dad’s exotic laboratories, I know now that my childhood was charmed. The time I am from: My generation didn’t need to guard innocence so vigilantly. We watched black and white television, used rotary telephones, and predated computers until our teens. Even though all generations are able to say something similar, I feel like my generation is a connection to an older world. We are the bridge between the horse and buggy generation and the space age/computer generation. I also think it is significant that I am from a generation that followed a terrible world war and am the child of a survivor from that terrible period.

Where is your life centered at the moment?
Venice Beach California and upstate New York. Both places are near to family (mine and Wendy’s), and family has always been a great influence and source of joy. I now have two adult daughters. One residing in LA, one in NY.

Where is your work centered at the moment?
Our Venice studio for most of the year. Summers in upstate New York. We engage with local artist communities in Los Angeles and in Ithaca NY and in LA we are active with our local hackerspace. Also, wherever we can travel, when given the opportunity, we take it. Travel opens our eyes, enriches our lives and adds special ingredients to the structure of our work.

How old is your handcraft?
Without verifying dates too strenuously, in the 1890’s it was discovered that photographs could be sequenced and viewed as moving pictures. Wendy and I like to acknowledge that era in our work even though the split-flap display was invented in the late 1930’s. Our craft is visible in the images of our flipbooks, but the craft of clockworks and machine-making is a dwindling art that is gradually being lost to the digital world of technology. Hopefully our kinetic art helps rekindle some of that “mechanical” craft in a small way.

How when and where did hand craft find you first?
When and I were already making art together for almost 2 years and she was sharing some of her techniques, and I was gradually introducing ideas that I had been sketching out and playing with for years, yet not manifesting as art due to my professional and family life.
We had also started interacting with a hackerspace and it became clear to us that tech art was a natural progression for us. I had mentioned the notion of train station signs displaying graphics and Wendy started on her own path and she worked through her own Ideas. She waited patiently to see if I could really build a split flap display out of salvaged ink-jet printer parts. Since we had been challenging each other with our previous collaborations, our first goal after solving the technology was to somehow inject depth in a flipbook piece. It was a great feeling to discover that we could, and the craft really began to take hold of us after we saw how people responded to our first piece. We displayed the work at a charity art show/ auction and then took great pleasure watching people react to that piece. It sold quickly, and from then on, we were passionately injecting our ideas into these works with much more ease and fluency.

Is it Love? Profession? Faith? Determination? Curse?
It is ALL of those and I would add: Therapy, Cure, Progeny, Purpose, and Legacy.

Do you control or change your handcraft or does your handcraft control or change you?
If we all controlled with ease or with the deftness of our imaginations, I wonder if we would all be bored and jaded. We try to control and we fail and learn. After we do this for a while, we begin to love the process of learning and we also appreciate the products of this process. So it is the process that changes us, and it is us who nudges the work along in the course of the process to make things special. The latter.

How did your craft develop in the course of the past decades or centuries?
While a craft’s development is usually important, we think that the defining aspect of our craft is more in it’s decline. Both photography and the technology used for train station signs were very effective things, yet they are now obsolete.Obsolete, yet meaningful. A technology’s obsolescence is a mark in history and culture, and because that mark is there, it becomes a style, or a look, or something nostalgic. One who has a hard time finding beauty or meaning or purpose in humanity now, may find that essence by connecting to a simpler past. That is part of the vocabulary of our art.

How will your craft and you evolve together in the future?
There are many directions for this work to evolve. Most notably, our work is the product of a relationship and partnership. We look at our art as our child. A child grows into a person that is a unique individual with it’s own volition. We Like that characterization of our work because it is full of surprises. We also love the response of people to this craft and that often guides us. One unexpected evolution was that we created a consumer-level kit version of flipbooks that enable anyone to build a flipbook. That, evolutionary branch has grown in many ways beyond our art because we have witnessed a community form around this creation. How all this comes together and evolves? I guess we’ll share the story when it happens!

Which part of the production process do you like best and why?
I get a very simple satisfaction out of working and creating with my hands. When I spend too much time crouched over a computer keyboard I may slip into a depression that is only cured by tinkering in my shop. The process from sketchbook to tinkering is also a favorite process.

Which part of the production process is the most tricky one?
The creative tension that we pass through when we try to work from unfocused ideas into a work in process. That small transition can be agonizing to get through.

What is the biggest challenge?
Even with occasional public attention and a few commissions every year, we go through financial challenges on a regular basis. This is a common problem for people who stubbornly do only what they are inclined to do (artists). But we struggle through these periods because we understand that it is part of the journey and it somehow adds a strength and integrity to our work.

How does it feel to transform digital pixels into real, tangible originals?
I use pixels as planning tools. I have a long history with computer graphics that dates back to the 80‘s and plenty of skills, but it is a both a privilege and an exercise of trust to surrender my very rough sketches to Wendy and wait for her creative magic to add life to the boxes I build. To me, our work does not seem real until there is a tangible vessel displaying it or an experiential context for the viewer.

Please define „crazy“!
Going through life without depth, compassion, gratitude, love.

Are you left or right handed?
Right handed. When I was in grade-school, I practiced simultaneously mirroring my right-handwriting with my left. This is something that I heard that Leonardo da Vinci did. Of course I wrote nonsense and it gave me hand cramps.

What is the most important tool for your work, other than your hands?
I guess the initial key tool is a sketchbook and pencil.Software and the internet are a huge benefit and it would be silly to neglect mentioning them. My shop has a collection of small-scale shop tools. I love working in the scale that is encompassed within my wingspan. Some of my sculptural designs are meant to be built as large installations, but I am content working with a scaled maquette. So among my “small” shop tools that I love are: a precision “micro-drill” that looks like a miniature drill press, and a Swiss “Inca” model-builder’s table saw (model 159), custom jigs that I make, a series of small accurate machinist tools and gauges, dremel, electronics test equipment and development tools, and finally those tools that I hand machined for very specific tasks.

How do people react on your handcrafted products?
That is important and perhaps an insight into the psyche and development of many artists. For artists that had a natural talent rendering or illustrating as a child, it’s hard to discount the fact that there was significant attention given to them for their raw talent. Fo me, it was an important differentiator to have a talent that my other 4 brothers did not posses. In grade school, drawing was a means of getting peer attention. So, people’s reaction to my art has had a meaning to me since childhood.As an adult, I cannot say that my rendering skills are anything special when compared to a studio filled with other artists. The attention I receive from showing my art is not the same and my desire for attention is not the same at all. Wendy and I receive great satisfaction when we show art that produces an inspired response. We love the act of inspiration. We love when people react with “WOW!” or “Oh! That’s beautiful” or just stare with wonder. The idea that we can stimulate a creative mind or kindle a sense of connectedness is very compelling to me and a driving fuel for our art.

What is the importance of handcrafts in current times?
I heard that a young child’s brain develops much better when it is used for speaking and in coordinated motor tasks. If you want your toddler to have a large vocabulary, they should be encouraged speak the words. Motor control and coordination of the lips breath, vocal chords and tongue combined with the spoken word’s meaning is a proven way to heighten the brain capacity of a developing child. I mention that because there is also a vocabulary of touch for the hands and the materials we shape. Hand craft helps us learn this vocabulary. I think that in the future, when perhaps robots will be doing our busy work, handcraft will still be very important.

Do you consider yourself an artist or a craftsman?
Crafty Artist. If one is an artist, it is in their soul. Develop any craft with time and discipline, and you are a craftsman.

What is your favorite smell? Your favorite touch? Your favorite taste ? Your favorite sound? Your favorite dream?
Smells: Certain trees or groves sometimes remind me of hyper-sensory moments in my childhood. When I encounter these, I’m always surprised by the flood of images, feelings and thoughts that are triggered by such a small hint. I savor many smells now. Wendy’s neck, bed, soup on the stove, a pie baking, sunshine in a forest, and I also enjoy some odd industrial things like woodworking shops, machine shops, electronics labs, and surplus warehouses.
Touch: I like holding hands. When I was 18, I travelled alone in Africa for a few months, In the outskirts of Nairobi, I made a few new friends and joined their sweet group on an outing. We all held hands walking together. I sometimes wish it were more of a social convention in my own culture to hold hands with new acquaintances. On another level, I would not like to hold hands with a career criminal or a murderer. That is something to ponder. The touches of casual social encounters are full of meaning. In our everyday lives, we try to make them seem routine on one level, yet we are often a little clumsy about them because they in-fact have great potential depth. On a textural level, I like newly polished stuff, a work in process or a tool in my hands. wood, smooth rocks, I love the mass of a stone in my hand. One of the reasons that I like to work in a small scale is that I like the feel of smaller components in my hands.
Sounds: I love quiet. Because, when I listen, there is always more to it than I first assume. In quiet, even a noise, like a plane flying over, you may hear the motor sputtering or the speed changing, or two motors droning together, or the sound reflecting off the land’s structures as it passes, the doppler effect... Sounds always reveal that so much is going on. The plane passes and I’m left with the sound of my eyes blinking and the friction of my arm brushing where it rests. When I meditate and sounds happen, I try to relax the part of my mind that wants to label each sound. It takes some discipline to shut that off. But when my mind is active and I am open to dive into a moment, sounds can propel me if I choose, because sound is such a rich and thick substrate to travel through.
Taste: I fantasize about opening a bakery called “Not-Over farms” Not over-sweetened, not over-salted. Although sometimes I like my cookies with salt added. Taste always has a touch component because of the texture of the food. Another creative aspect of taste that excites me is the possibilities for combining tastes, textures and fragrances in a potentially never-ending array of experiences. I gave a lot of gratitude for my enjoyment of “taste”. It is a sense that we can share with lots of joy when we eat together. I especially like experimenting with salty natured foods and sweetly natured foods. Salt and umami combined can be great too.
Dreams: I think I remember a very small bit of my dreams. Occasionally they have impact and leave me awake and contemplative or confused, but that is the odd morning. I’m fond of flying dreams and love it most when I have the lucidity and will to actually choose where to fly and how fast and high.

What inspires you most?
The inspiration for my art is anthropomorphic. Human celebrating, human gestural, human-like, human directed. For the same reason, heroic moral acts inspire me and touch me. Particularly acts that protect innocence. What good is art if we are not open to it, and what passage to our souls is larger than our own innocence?

Who is your personal „handcraft jesus“ of all times?
DaVinci was a childhood hero. As were Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Newton and Marie Curie. Maybe it’s because my parents are both scientists, but I love curiosity and experiment-driven crafts. I alway imagine the creative process that went into things that we don’t normally look at as art. Growing up, I admired a family friend who made his fortune in plastics. I loved his stories about how he struggled with repurposing old machinery to create new plastic objects that had never been made before and how he explained to me how many routine things were manufactured. He was not an artists, and perhaps he was more of a “driven businessman” than a craftsman, but his stories inspired the artist in me. I should add that I also noticed a sparkle in his eyes when he reminisced about that exciting period of his life.Much of art is in technique, even conceptual art.

What would you recommend to somebody who wants to start learning your handcraft? How should he/she start?
My process was always to sketch what I imagined building and then continue to compile notes and plans and research. Even though I can render, my sketches are sloppy and they usually begin with functionality. Then to the shop, and later, back to the sketchpad. It is a process that builds from trial and error. I also recommend finding the right tools. Wendy will laugh when I seem obsessed with getting a certain tool or building a jig. But she doesn’t know that I have a pile of sketches just waiting for that one tool and after I have it, I’m suddenly busy being productive. Sometimes prolific. I should mention that the lack of a tool can be the inspiration for a great and creative solution. That’s when sketch pads and rummaging through scrap parts bins come in very handy.

Wendy Marvel

Mark Arnon Rosen & Wendy Marvel - Mechanical Flipbook

Simply Why?
That one word looks so scary alone on the page...whew, now I feel better. A blank canvas is intimidating. OK, Why? Collaboration. Mark and I share the same principles - the desire to protect innocence and share beauty. When we started playing with art together, our greatest satisfaction came with sharing what we'd created with other people. There’s nothing better than seeing someone’s face transform into child-like wonder as they look at one of your inventions. Mechanical Flipbooks were magic. But why stop there? We could tell that everyone wanted to pick them up, touch the machines, hold them in their hands. Past the initial surprise, our creations were sparking their curiosity. The first question people ask after seeing our art is “how does this work”? We wanted to share that and make it a part of the process. The only thing better than collaborating with Mark is having the chance to share our creations with everyone.

When and where were you born?
December 14,1968 Plattsburgh, New York. I was raised by my mother in a single parent household. What we lacked in money and life station my mother made up for with lots of laughter and love. My mother was a hard worker, holding down several jobs while pursuing a college education. We moved often searching for a better job and home. Many of my childhood pictures show a smiley girl in pigtails - with a hint of a black eye. I was a little terror on the playground fighting other kids to establish my place in the new school or neighborhood. Although it was difficult to constantly acclimate to new environments, I believe it gave me my love of travel. I was born in a small town, but the road was king. (Isn’t that a Roger Miller song?)

Where is your life centered at the moment?
My first thought was location, and that would be here in Venice Beach, CA. For the last fifteen years I've lived on a quaint walk street in an apartment near the beach. I live with my boyfriend/creative partner Mark. I have no children and all my pets have passed in the last few years. My recent hobby has been nurturing monarch butterflies that use our milkweed plant in the front yard to lay eggs. Every day I check to make sure the caterpillars are happy and healthy, and I watch over their chrysalis. As I type this, it seems kind of crazy behavior, but I guess here at Venice Beach it's par for the course. If "life-centered" meant overview of living, I guess I'm the forty-ish red-haired skater girl that travels a little less and is happy building a nest at home with her art. I used to love the road and travel with my clients (bands) for work, but now I like waking up in my own bed. I still have pig-tails, but I no longer pick fights. (Well, not often.)

Where is your work centered at the moment?
Work was a strange label that I gave to house chores or taxes, but never art. I've been so fortunate to earn a living by playing with mixed media. Photography used to be a passion, with an emphasis on experimenting with older methods of making image, but that took a back seat when I embraced digital media. Still images were a preoccupation until I learned to animate my work...moving images fascinated me. Over the past few years I've started working with Mark. Watching him rip apart old machines and salvage parts to be used in something new...this was amazing! It opened a whole new arena of creativity and I was hooked! I quickly learned that it's not either/ or...but the combination of both traditional and digital. Capturing images digitally, using my animation skills to push the direction of that content, converting it back to a traditional style of image printing, and then presenting the final as a mechanical representation of....

How old is your handcraft?
Our personal handcraft? About four and a half years. It’s an old technology that we updated for modern times, but Mechanical Flipbook is something completely new. When people see it, they assume it’s a device that was invented over a century ago. There were similar mechanisms, the penny arcade and the zoopraxiscope, but our hand- cranked miniature movie machines are the first of their kind. They look and feel nostalgic, but they are a product of our current time.

How, when and where did your handcraft find you first?
Mark and I started collaborating in 2009, but the Mechanical FlipBooks didn't solidify until 2010. I was traveling in London for work and happened upon a retrospective of Edweard Muybridge at the Tate Galley. I was spellbound.A fellow creative that experimented with traditional photography in an effort to capture motion. In the center of one room they featured his Zoopraxiscope. What?! Stills of a horse galloping round and round in a circle. Of course I'd seen pictures of this invention before, but being in the same room as the original. WOW! When I flew home and shared my experience with Mark, I said "we need to make something like that!"

Is it Love? Profession? Faith? Determination? Curse?
Love would definitely be the first word. None of this would have happened if Mark and I hadn't started collaborating together. And that relationship was the result of two creatives being attracted to the same energy. I was curious about the world and loved innocence and discovery. It's rare to find someone with similar traits, especially a person who has the skills and knowledge to materialize those great ideas. But it's not easy working with your partner either. A close friend once told me, "you can't have two balloons, someone has to be the string...otherwise you constantly bump into each other as you float off into the ether". Wise words. We're both determined to see our ideas manifested, but that doesn't always mean we agree which of those will take a precedent.

Please tell us more about the history /origin of your handcraft.
Mark and I traveled to Europe and Middle East in early 2010 and loved the old mechanisms and machines, especially train station signs. 'Click-clack-click-clack'. Those sounds were a balm to our souls. Once back in LA, we started taking field trips to old aerospace junk yards rummaging through obsolete equipment. I was mesmerized by the outside appearance, steel, metal old knobs and buttons...design from a forgotten era. But Mark was excited to see the guts. He always wants to see how things work.

Do you control your handcraft, or does your handcraft control/change you?
Mechanical FlipBooks have a long production time, being constructed with a variety of materials and several processes. We’re never sure what direction a new innovation will take us, and patience is a necessity. Depending on the complexity, one piece can take up to three months to finish. And like many artists, a work is never really complete. I’ve seen Mark take a finished installation down, rip all the parts out and start again because he’d figured out a more efficient way to make the internal mechanism run. As for me, it can be maddening to realize I’ve forgotten a step in my image making and have to start over. Nothing anyone else would notice except us, but there can be no other way with us! Everything has to be as good as we’re able to make it. We wouldn’t be able to sleep knowing something was slightly less than perfect - yes, our craft definitely controls us.

How did your craft develop in the course of the past decades or centuries? How will your craft and you evolve together in the future?
Mark and I don't have children together, so we've begun calling "art" our love child. And this is a pretty demanding kid we have...always hungry, doesn't let us sleep much and never satisfied. All our time and resources go toward making sure its happy and healthy, sometimes sacrificing our own well being. But I think we're good parents...people always stops to comment on how beautiful and well behaved our "art" is! I suppose mechanical flipbook will evolve like any other parent/child relationship, except that we don’t know how long each stage of development will be. I think we just passed the “terrible twos” toddler phase of tantrums and defiant behavior. Right now we’re enjoying that time when our art is becoming more self aware and developing a personality. Our future? The day when mechanical flipbook leaves the nest and becomes a productive part of society. We’ve already begun nurturing that hope with “FlipBooKit” (a DIY kit that allows anyone to build their own hand cranked miniature movie machine). Live long a prosper! If you could see me, I’m geeking out holding my hand in Spock’s vulcan salute.

Which part of the production process do you like best and why?
Discovery! I love adventure and as a child wanted to be the female equivalent of Indiana Jones. Finding treasures in obscure places was a thrilling idea, but now as I travel less, those discoveries are happening in my own backyard. I don’t mean I’m digging up the grass and finding bodies, but Los Angeles has some amazing relics from the Aerospace and Entertainment industries. Mark and I love taking field trips to “the valley”. Every junkyard has 50‘s era equipment from the space race, and it’s where we found our airplane chassis boxes for the first mechanical flipbooks. Hollywood vintage shop are full of nostalgia with clothing and photos from the explosive growth of the motion picture industry. The very first flipbook cards I created was made by cutting up antique dresses and transferring my imagery onto the fabric. If I was going to appropriate people’s photos from a certain era, it only seemed right to use material from that age too.

Which part of the production process is the most tricky?
For me it’s choosing the right content. Don’t get me wrong, materials and process can be a huge pain in the ass, but as I’ve learned in the web world...content is king. Everything can look and work beautifully, but how is it relevant to the viewer? Is there a connection being made?

What is the biggest challenge?
TIME...the Rolling Stones were wrong.

How does it feel to transform digital pixels into real, tangible originals?
I’ve always had a love of photos. They are a snapshot of time passed, whether a few seconds or decades. It used to scare me to look at very old photos. Black and white, fading and musty...these were dead people! But as I got older and some of my friends and family passed, these images took on a more sentimental importance. I began to fear my own mortality less and cherish these as records of people and places I loved. Then began my quest to find other people’s images, searching out old photos at garage sales and vintage shops. I stared at these stranger’s faces and imagined the lives they led, places they’d been, and knew that someone had loved them. Maybe even the person who had taken the photo. I have a BA in Illustration and was trained in digital media - working on the computer to create imagery is my profession and passion. When I began experimenting with photography, I was naturally inclined to digitize the results and play. But still images are still “static” on a computer screen. It sounds like a bad horror movie, but I had the desire to breathe life into these photos and see them live again. I was adept at making motion for my web clients, so this was an easy transition. It was wonderful to see these pictures move, but inthe end, this was just a flat screen. How to make this a tangible experience? I began taking classes in old photographic processes (Cyanotypes, Platinum and Palladium, Salt Paper prints...). My favorite was polaroid lifts and tranfers, but even these were messy and slow. I stumbled on my own process when I played with heat transfer paper. I spent a few months one summer perfecting my technique - ELATION! These were exactly the results I’d been striving for.

Please define “crazy”
Creating art with the love of your life.

Are you right or left handed?
RIGHT, although I’ve always envied my mom being left handed. Watching her strange hand maneuvers in an attempt to fit the “norm” only made her more curious. I like weird. (Um, did I mention I live in Venice Beach?)

What is the most important tool for your work, (other than your hands).
Aw shoot, what a cheat question! How could you take “hands” out of that answer? Those our our finest tools! Well then I’d say eyes, because they’re the most used and abused in my process. Staring at a computer screen for 12 hours starts to make you a little squinty. I’ve noticed I can’t see very well in the distance now. But I have a feeling you’re asking about a tool unattached to my body. Then definitely the computer. It really is mankind’s greatest invention (ok, after modern plumbing:)

How do people react with your handcraft products?
This is the real secret of our craft...magic. The greatest satisfaction of everything we do is seeing people’s wonder and joy when they crank the handle on the flipbook. An adult will giggle like a child, and kids scowl with intense concentration. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but no matter how many times you see the illusion of motion, you want to do it again!

What is the importance of handcrafts in current times?
With the advent of technology taking more and more precedent in our lives, I love the thought of abandoning efficiency and going back to simpler times. (Jeez, I sound like my grandparents.) Our shared experiences seems to be quickening at an exponential speed. Being a digital girl I crave and love that environment, but is anyone really able to appreciate personal awareness when you’ve just passed the turnoff going 80 mph? I think the desire to slow down, appreciate and share is becoming paramount. Handcrafts take time to develop, time to make, and most importantly, time to appreciate.

Do you consider yourself an artist or a craftsman?
One and the same. I've always thought that being an artist is the most challenging and scary occupation a person could choose. It takes Chutzpah to voluntarily expose yourself to other's criticism, especially when your only defense is "sorry, this is who I am and how I feel." No hiding. I suppose you could pretend and make yourself an enigma. But maybe that's what defines great art; the capacity to express TRUTH through a medium that other's immediately relate to. People may love or hate what you show them, but if you're honest there's no denying the shared experience. Now if you’re able to add functionality - then you’ve become an artisan. There’s no denying that there aren’t that many girls in science and engineering. Many more than when I started, but the number of males in tech fields still far outweigh the females. So maybe my first definition of what I consider myself should be a “crafts- woman”. When all other factors are taken into consideration, being a woman has made the greatest impact defining who I am.

What is your favorite smell?
Popcorn! Makes me feel like I’m going to the movies:)

Your favorite touch?
Velvet corduroys pants. I had several pair of “whistle britches” as a kid and ran my hands across them so much that my fingertips went numb. ‘Zroop-Zroop’!

Your favorite taste?
CORN! Popcorn. Corn on the cob. Corn Bread. Captain Crunch cereal. Fritos...shall I go on?

Your favorite sound?
Mark snoring. He thinks it bothers me, and I do have specially made earplugs for when his amplitude increases. But knowing he’s safe in bed, and the house is free for me to play solo in the workshop...yep, Mr. Rosen snoring.

Your favorite dream?
Most people would say “flying” (especially Mark, he’s always having awesome dreams). But mine was a swimming dream. I was a killer whale and the sky was down and the deep ocean was my horizon. I swam with other orcas and was fearful of their aggression and sharp teeth - until I realized I was one too! Then I was fearless, fast and strong. I remember waking up and being disoriented at being out of water. Mark thinks maybe I ate shellfish with toxins that night.

What inspires you most?
Triumph over adversity. Living in Los Angeles, a person can witness much suffering. We have one of the largest homeless populations in the country. All people know pain, and although we don’t all carry signs of suffering on the outside, everyone has their stories. The will to overcome misfortune, those are the narratives I’m inspired by. I think we all share the capacity for joy and unhappiness, but perhaps it’s our perspective and reaction to misfortune that defines us. It’s the ultimate opportunity to understand who we are and what we’re truly capable of.

Who is your personal “handcraft jesus” of all times?
Edweard Muybridge. He was a crazy old coot that got away with murder, but oh how I loved his photos. I discovered his “Human and Animal Locomotion” images while taking illustration class. We were instructed to use reference for our drawings, and I found an old book with his sequences. I remember studying those stills like a science textbook, laboring over my illustrations trying to match the animal’s subtle movements on the page. And these were subjects long dead, but I wanted to make them live again! This led me to buy my first computer and take illustration classes. I scanned his pics and created my first motion studies. When I discovered he had created the zoopraxiscope I was elated thinking we shared the same inclinations (to create motion with images, not kill people:) On further thought, I’d say my grandfather. He was a machinist with Corning Glass and had a plethora of tools and hand made devices in the garage for me to explore. He was extremely patient and would describe in detail how everything worked in the house. And he could fix anything! Very similar to Mark. OK, final answer...Mark. He is maddeningly precise and can’t help himself from pulling apart the latest mechanical device in our house. And WOW, the things he can build! I feel like I’m in the presence of a fine watchmaker. All the gears and mechanisms...truly inspiring to witness one of his mad scientist moments. I’ve never known someone with such passion for making things with their hands. So yes, my real personal handcraft jesus is Mark. And have you seen him lately? He really does look a bit like him.

What would you recommend to somebody who wants to start learning your handcraft? How should he or she start?
I have a niece that is seven and she’s extremely intrigued by all the art Mark and I build. We try to nurture that curiosity by letting her know it’s ok to pick up our FlipBooks and “man-handle” them. I want her to be inspired and think, “Yes! I can create amazing things too”. That’s my recommendation for anyone. Be boldly inquisitive. Don’t be shy, pull it apart and see how it works! Another good place to start learning is by joining a Hackerspace. There at least one located in almost every city around the world now. These are workspaces that have a community of people that want to share and learn (primarily science, engineering and tech). They offer classes and a place to socialize with people that share the same interests. Mark and I developed our FlipBooKits in this environment, seeking advice and collaboration on processes.



The first flipbook appeared in Birmingham, England in 1868 when the British lithograph printer John Barnes Linnett patented his new invention under the name “kineograph,” literally “a moving picture.” Although the earlier phenakistoscope was able to produce a circular sequence of images, Linnett’s kineograph was the world’s first type of animation to use a linear sequence of images. Almost thirty years later, Max Skladanowsky, the early German filmmaker and inventor, also prepared to unveil his own moving photographic images. He and his brother Emil had not yet developed their own film projector, and he exhibited his serial images as a flipbook in 1894. That same year, the American Herman Casler unveiled his new invention, the Mutoscope—a mechanized flipbook that, instead of binding the images as a flipbook, mounted them to a rotating cylinder. It was Casler’s invention that truly captured the public’s imagination and his variation of the classic flipbook was a popular attraction well into the 20th century, often appearing in amusement parks and arcades. At the turn of the century, Henry William Short introduced the “filoscope,” a flipbook that included a small metal holder that made it much easier to flip the pages and see the images come to life.