studio 2010/11

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Light Space Modulator

Alternate Title: Why I (Still) Hate Gravity

Once my site was selected and we moved into Martin’s studio, it was time to get down to work and make my machine come to life and take it out to my site for some Light Space Modulation.

As it turns out, though, that was completely impossible.  In all my years making weird machines and odd contraptions, I’ve never had my ass kicked quite like that, and this week was humbling to say the least.  For the first few days, I tried my best to get the machine up and running, but it just never came together.

The mounting plate secured to a tripod.

A lasercut sprocket held onto a brass shaft using a Jaw Coupling.

The beginnings of the machine on the tripod.

The gears sitting in their bearings, awaiting the chains.

You can see how this got really complicated, really fast.

After messing around with this machine and exhausting every angle I could, I finally had to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to take my machine onto the site.  The reason I wanted to create the machine in the first place is partly because it tied into my research about Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, but also because I wanted to use it to measure and affect my site using light, reflection, transparency, and motion.  My machine is supposed to mimic Nagy’s “Light Space Modulator”, but in this case it wasn’t going to do a damned thing.

Had everything gone according to plan (ha!), the grad idea was that I would be able to take my machine out to the site I chose, and record images and video of the reflections and refractions caused by the machine in motion and how they affected my site at night.  I had hoped to get it out there by Thursday night, so that I could take my findings back to the studio and then create a second set of spinning pieces to sit on top of the machine. The second set of pieces would highlight areas that I felt were important or cancel out certain pieces of the site.  This second set of reflective and transparent pieces would be an impression of my site that I could take home to Winnipeg and work with in some way to capture a memory of Berlin without the use of traditional photography.

Of course, that’s not how it worked out, and so I had to make some last minute modifications to the machine to at least get something out of it.

Some of the pieces inspired by the original Light Space Modulator

The final version of the machine

Light modulation!

Category: Studio work

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