Plotagraph Experiment

In two 2018 the UK government has continued to explore options for establishing alternative options to the Customs Union (that is part of the European Un ion membership) to prevent a hard border being required between the United Kingdom and Europe(Grierson and Carroll, 2018). There has been discussions on mechanisms to establish frictionless trade via technology (BBC News, 2018). I decided that I wanted to explore ways to express the transformation of a hard border into a frictionless border. During the ‘Sustainable Prospects’ module I created work a series of rubbings from the decking on the piers along the Essex coast. These rubbings are an abstraction of the hard surface. The abstract images as a still image look similar to the surface of the water a fluid form. Converting the image into a cinemagraph (, 2018) would allow the surface to take on a fluid or frictionless form.

I decided to use the Plotagraph web-based application to convert the rubbing image into a gif file. The resulting animation could then be presented via a number of different surfaces such as web, projection or screens. 

Using Plotagraph I masked the sections of the image where I did not want any motion and then using the interface added motion points to the rest of the image. After experimenting I with the motion arrows I decided to way the length to create a non-uniform motion across the image. After adding multiple motion markers I did my first test of the resulting cinemagraph which showed promise however my masking meant that the edges of the image exhibited a ripple effect while i wanted the frame edge to remain static. Further tuning resulted in the cinemagraph below which I was an acceptable outcome.


The initial experiment resulted in a dynamic image that looked as though a stream of water is flowing across the screen. If cinemagraphs get incorporated into the exhibition I need to determine a way to present the images as part of the exhibition.


  • BBC News. (2018). Frictionless border ‘regardless of deal’. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2018].
  • (2018). Cinemagraph. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2018].
  • Grierson, J. and Carroll, L. (2018). Boris Johnson: Irish border issue being used to frustrate Brexit. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 6 May 2018].
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