Recipe

In case someone was wondering how the electromechanical writing aperatus below works, here are the main ingredients:

-Arduino board

-Breadboard

-2 Potentiometers

-Wire

-A dash of skill

CODE:

#include <Servo.h>

Servo myservox;
Servo myservoy;
int potpinx = 0;
int potpiny = 1;
int valx;
int valy;

void setup()
{
myservox.attach(9);
myservoy.attach(10);
}

void loop()
{
valx = analogRead(potpinx);
valy = analogRead(potpiny);
valx = map(valx, 0, 1023, 0, 179);
valy = map(valy, 0, 1023, 0, 179);
myservox.write(valx);
myservoy.write(valy);
delay(15);

}

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So what have I been up to?

Alright, it has definitely been a while since my last post. So, lets catch up. I have been working on making at sort of writing machine as one of the three electromechanical interactive sculptural installations. While the other two are not exactly planned out, all of the works are stemming from elements or themes of my day-to-day life. I realize that can be a pretty generalized term, so I have looked within that overarching concept for categories to narrow down to. From there I realized a key theme for at least one of the pieces. The intended theme of this piece is one step forward two steps back. This is something that has relentlessly haunted my life. It often seems like I will never be able to get out of the whole I am in or get ahead of money troubles. With that being said, this piece takes on that theme of stepping forward and backward and ties it tightly to the money aspect of that theme by utilizing paper in a receipt format. The viewer/participant  will come up to an apparatus that is connected to a pen and sign their name. The tablet they are signing on will remain blank and the output of their signature will be in a different location, establishing an awkward disconnect between the person and the signature. Simply put, one could say this is a glorified credit card machine. In addition, the spool of paper being used is thermal paper and will be written on using a glow plug from a diesel engine. So, what does all of this have to do with one step forward and two steps back? Now it seems to deal more with consumerism than stepping forward or back.  Hmm this is where I am at. Thinking and brainstorming.

Below is some of the ideation process including images of models and sketches as well as a short movie clip of an early prototype.

The idea behind the receipt scroll is that as the paper unravels from a spool, it erases the text on the side of it. The text will contain words and phrases from my day-to-day life. As one spool is erased, the other winds back up with the same text as if nothing has changed.

Copy and paste link to demo video available here—> http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v206/tippmannballer/?action=view&current=DSC_0141-1.flv

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Ah Hah!

stirling_engine_kit

This is a simple stirling engine. I came across this when researching drinking chickens. I think this opens a world of possibilities and ideas for me. One idea is to use it as input for a piece. I could have several of them and the different heat from individuals would make each one spin at a different speed. Also, I could use the rotating disk as a piece of information. When it spins, a light sensor could be reading off it and that in turn could create another link in the system. I don’t know yet… it was just something interesting.

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Yet Another Revision

Ok, so I spent the past few hours revising my proposal again after talking with John Walters. I think its getting much closer…

A series of electromechanical sculptural works and/or installations that employ themes or concepts from my life.

What:
For me, the act of creating kinetic work, or essentially anything 3D for that matter, is something very personal. It is a time of deep play where I become trapped in my mind and nothing else matters. I am able to stay fixed in conversations with myself and access a particular channel of my imagination that enables mechanical reasoning and problem solving to flourish. Working in an intuitive hands on approach with tangible objects is an imperative element of the ideation process in that it provides critique of the imagined solutions and translates them into reality. Utilizing this sort of methodology, I seek to create a series of electromechanical works that in their essence embody themes or concepts from my life. One of the themes I will focus on first is this perpetual cycle of two steps forward and one back. I don’t know what the final outcome will look like, however this is the way I work, moving backward and forward. I wish for the final product to be emulative of that and exemplify my methodology of creation. The piece will also incorporate an element of interactivity with the audience through either intentional input or unintentional. Arthur Ganson’s work and processes have been particularly influential and inspiring for me.

Why:
I would like my work to first invite curiosity. I hope through this initial spark of interest that individual(s) can intuitively enter the piece, establish a sort of attachment to my work and find connections in their own life that bring about memories and emotions. I want to achieve a greater sense of intimacy or togetherness between the spectators and me.

How:
An example of how I will be going about the project is by starting with an object, in this case a linear graphing machine. I can take that object and extrapolate its use by incorporating new elements to create a visual metaphor for my theme. The project will be realized through utilizing resources available in the School of Art and Design and surrounding Ann Arbor area.

Where:
The project will ideally occupy space in a gallery, in particular a space like WORK gallery. I feel this kind of space and atmosphere would best suite the communication of my ideas.

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Another Draft

So lately I have been tinkering with the linear graphing machine and trying to explore that way it operates.  I also wrote a new version of my proposal and hopefully it will be revised once again today.

A series of electromechanical sculptural works and/or installations that employ themes or concepts from my life.

What:
For me, the act of creating kinetic work, or essentially anything 3D for that matter, is something very personal. It is a time of deep play where I become trapped in my mind and nothing else really matters. I don’t stop for anybody or anything, not even food or water. I am able to stay fixed in conversations with myself and access a particular channel of my imagination that enables mechanical reasoning and problem solving to flourish. Working in an intuitive hands on approach with tangible objects I can actually see, hold, hear, or feel, is an imperative element of the ideation process in that it provides critique of the imagined solutions and translates them into reality. Utilizing this sort of methodology, I seek to create a series of electromechanical works that in their essence embody themes or concepts from my life. One of the themes I will focus on is this perpetual cycle of two steps forward and one back. The works will be life sized and incorporate an element of interactivity with the audience through either intentional input or unintentional. I have been looking at many artists for inspiration, however one of the most helpful has been Arthur Ganson and his piece with the artichoke petal or his wishbone piece.

Why:
I would like my work to first invite curiosity. While I am making these pieces as a sort of introspection and release for myself, I am creating these works specifically with an audience in mind. I hope through this curiosity that individual(s) find connections to their own life that bring about memories and emotions. I want to leave it to the audience to take from it what they will, whether it would be humor, discomfort, empathy, or excitement. The piece has failed if someone is able to walk past without taking at least something from it.

How:
I very much know how to do what I am proposing, but as with any project, there will certainly be unforeseen roadblocks along the way. I will be using the metals shops for the majority of the fabrication and metal working, sculpture studio for painting or finishing, my studio for ideation and tinkering, and lastly the design lab as a further resource. To acquire my materials, I will look first through second hand stores like the reuse center or property disposition and later buy from places like ALRO Metals, All Electronics, or MPJA. To pay for them I will most likely rely on myself or grants if possible.

Where:
The project will ideally occupy space in a gallery, in particular a space like WORK gallery. I feel this kind of space and atmosphere would best suite the communication of my ideas.

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Shopping

So after lecture today and reading some comments about my new proposal, which I found rather helpful, I decided it was a good time to just go shopping! Below are some finds that spoke to me and still connected to machines I have been thinking about for a while now. DSC_0625

These are some large syringes. I find them to be great air compressors.

DSC_0626

This thing is just cool. It ties in with my idea of making a machine write in cursive.

DSC_0624

I got three of these intense lights. I want to write with them somehow.

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A significant change

So through all of my research and stumbling, I came to a point where I had made an extensive collection of words and thoughts that in the end gave me a feeling that I was nowhere closer to my goal of defining the “what” and “why” of the project. To say the least I was beginning to feel very frustrated and disappointed with myself. Then it came to me over the weekend when I was thinking about my car that had recently broken down. It seems as though my life has been trapped in this concept of two steps forward and one step back or one step forward and two steps back. I began to think of this project as a chance for me to actually channel that frustration in my life to the world and communicate through my work. I saw this as an opperntunity to create a series of autobiographical works that employ certain memories and experiences from my life that either constantly appear or memories that have shaped me. Below is a more recent version of my proposal. Indeed there still needs to be more to it, but at least for once in this project I feel like I’m getting somewhere. (or not…)

A series of autobiographical works that draw upon experiences, events, or themes in my life, illustrated through the medium of kinetic sculptures and installations.

I would like to create a set or series of autobiographical works. These works will be based on experiences, events, or themes in my own life I hold within myself, both reoccurring and not, that have affected me as a person and as an artist. To communicate these concepts, I will use the medium of kinetic sculpture and installations. I feel this medium is most appropriate to communicate these themes because for one I am most proficient at creating work of this manner and secondly because throughout nearly all of these themes my interests have dealt with the ideas, processes, and materials associated with creating kinetic work. Certainly I am not the first to do this, and so I have looked at artists like Arthur Ganson, Tim Hawkinson, and Janet Zweig for inspiration. Arthur Ganson in particular, derives many of his concepts from ideas or events in his own life and achieves a contemplative quality to his work that I very much admire.

I would like my work to first invite curiosity. While I am making these pieces as a sort of introspection and release for myself, I am creating these works mainly for an audience. I hope through this curiosity that individual(s) find connections to their own life that bring about memories and emotions. I want to leave it to the audience to take from it what they will, whether it would be humor, discomfort, empathy, or excitement. The piece has failed if someone is able to walk past without taking something from it.

I know how to do what I am proposing. The struggle will come with translating the concept to the form and function in the most appropriate way. For my projects I will be using the metals shops for the metal working, sculpture studio for painting, my studio for ideation and tinkering, and lastly the design lab as a further resource. To acquire my materials, I will look first through second hand stores like the reuse center or property disposition and later buy from places like ALRO Metals, All Electronics, or MPJA. To pay for them I will most likely rely on myself or grants if possible.

The project will ideally occupy space in a gallery, in particular a space like WORK gallery. I feel this kind of space and atmosphere would best suite the communication of my ideas.

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