phi phenomenon


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phi′ phenom`enon


n.
the perception of movement when stationary stimuli are presented as a series in an ordered progression.
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Two early films, The Director and His Actor Look at Footage Showing Preparations for an Unmade Film (2) and Phi Phenomenon (both 1968), attracted attention within a year after they were made, at the film festivals of St, Lawrence College (presented in New York at Hunter College by Ken Jacobs) and the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, respectively.
His Phi Phenomenon of 1968 (not included in the Whitney retrospective) stares at a wall clock without a second hand.
A related effect is the phi phenomenon, in which two lights placed close together are alternately turned on and off.