Raised in Ben Lomond, CA and based in San Francisco, Peter Hudson, aka “Hudzo” self proclaims, “I am the director of the tallest and largest animated shorts.” Hudzo channels his technical and set-design expertise, curiosity, and creative passion into life-size 3D stroboscopic zoetropes. Hudson has spent 30 years in the world of stage and set design, working with the San Francisco Opera, Ballet, TV and film. In 2000, Hudson began creating his own larger scale sculptural installations, debuting his first major installation, Playa Swimmers, at Burning Man. In 2001, his work Possession garnered international attention when it was featured on the cover of the Italian edition of Rolling Stone magazine. Hudson’s work continued to evolve into 6 stroboscopic zoetropes: Sisyphish, Deeper, Homouroboros, Tantalus, Charon, and his most recent piece, Eternal Return.
Zoetropes are the earliest form of animation dating back to the 1800s. They consist of a cylinder with a progression of images inside and slots to peer through. As the wheel spins, the motion gives the viewer the illusion of movement. Hudzo figured out a way to create the effect with life-sized sculptures, using spinning motion and strobe lights to create something akin to a three-dimensional motion picture.
The central focus of Hudzo's art is dedicated to creating these large-scale zoetropes that engage environment, body, and spirit, while pushing the boundaries of kinetic sculpture. All of his works are interactive, and often bear the visual hallmarks of pure invention – incorporating a whimsical mix of interlocking gears, spinning wheels, repetitive motion, and cyclical action.
Through touch or physical labor, the public is invited to power the sculpture directly, activating dream-like optical effects or mesmerizing mechanical events. Beyond the meditative imagery involving cycles or fortitude, the frenetic aspects of Hudzo’s sculpture impart serious questions regarding existence, progress (or lack thereof), consumption and routine.