Self Directed Project: Example

Predevelopment & Research
My work for this assignment is actually also a final piece in a series of my previous work, and it is actually their culmination – it is what these previous works were supposed to represent. From the start I wished to create a piece of light-art, but also with a mix of a kinetic scultpure or object. I wished to combine these two elements to create a visual instrument that is interactive.
In this respect, I was influenced largely by the works of Olaffur Eliasson, who although is not
creating very similar object is very stemmed in the experience itself. He works a lot with
geometrical shapes, and the properties of objects themselves. He creates his art by playing with
forms and light in order to create stunning experiences. It is hard to comment on his direct work process though, as he employs a studio full of people who help him complete his amazing works.

 

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I also enjoyed the works of a young american artist, Joshua Kirsch who creates interactive lightart/kinetic objects.

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His works, particuarly Concentricity 96 as seen above have inspired me, although the basic shape of my piece was created long ago before I found him. He works with quite advanced mechanics and electronics, standard of which I could not replicate, but anyhow seeing his work I decided that my work should definitely be interactive.
The previous works that this final piece is a culmination of are two objects, one is a small copper jewelry piece, which I call Rotator 1. Its about 10cm in diameter, and it already reflects the basic shape of my future work. Screen shot 2014-02-10 at 3.33.36 PM

Later, I was able to work with some larger metal plates, and so I decided that I could make my work bigger, perhaps prepare a skeleton for further work. The Rotator 2 already was about 1,25m in diameter and made of cor-ten metal. However the whole structure was too heavy. I would not be able to get it moving, and even if so it would be quite dangerous with this mass of metal

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Statement of Intent
In my project I will research several artist and techniques in order to create an object that is both visual and interactive. This piece will be a light/kinetic sculpture with a variety of possible uses – as aninstallation piece/projection area/or a music visualisation. Foremostly
though I like to describe it as a ‘visual instrument’.
It will be made out of wood, I also need a suitable motor and around 3
meters of LED light strips.
The final production will be in the form of photodocumentation and video.

Additional comments
This project has involved a lot of drawing, directly or indirectly. Sketching and drawing were at the center, although it wasn’t usually on paper, but on the woodpieces themselves that would finally be cut.

I enjoyed working on this project a lot because it combined a wide variety of techniques and led me to discover and learn more.

Sketches & Development

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Actual Development
I wished for my piece to be interactive and rotating, so I had several
constrains that I need to solve or get around. The first was finding a
suitable motor that would be powerful enough to rotate my piece, yet
not too powerful to work with.
The solution came quite quickly with the discovery of an old washing
machine.

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And so, the very first challenge was removing it from the box.

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The motor needed to be plugged in! Luckily I was able to configure
the original cord of the washing machine.

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And use it to plug the motor into power directly.

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With the motor prepared, I now knew how should I continue with my
production. The motor was a primary constraint, as everything would
stem from it. There were several important things that would be built
on it – the rotating power connectors that would power the LED lights
on the ends and a systém of attaching the whole piece. Next came the
basic designing.

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First, were the ‘wings’. Their size and shape was calculated to be
exact, and to have about 20cm of space in separation.

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In further preparation, the whole shapes was drawn onto a board.

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The wings are cut and put into the prepared shape.

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Next were the middle pieces that neatly fall into place.

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The middle pieces would need to be connected together strongly with
wooden circles and glue.

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Adding the central parts to hold the structure.

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The rotation is achieved.

Gluing process continues.

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In the end only one screw was enough to hold the wings, even when
rotating.

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The base is done. Down you can see the two wooden plates that will
hold the structure on the end of the motor with several screws.

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Standard and ‘Shuriken’ mode

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The most complicated element is probably the power connection. It
will be led through cables that will touch the rotating rod. On the rod
there will be strips of tape that will both hold and insulate two metal
strips. The curved ends of the woodpieces will be filled with wire that
will touch the metal strips. Cables will lead from the metal strips
( under them ) and connect to the added rotating structure, as they
rotate together with the rod.

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Adding the metal strips.

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Time for the paint-job.

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Paintjob is done. Next : sticking the LED strips. They already came
with 3M tape on the other side, so they were ready to go.

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The connection travels through the wooden pieces through the insulated metal
plates and onwards through cables that rotate with the structure.

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The connection travels through the wooden pieces through the insulated metal
plates and onwards through cables that rotate with the structure.

The rotating power connectors are finished.

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Time to solder the cables to the LED strips. Only one of the strips had
the cables pre-attached.

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The base is finished, time for wiring.

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First connection – it is working!

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Testing the light intensity.

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FINISHED PIECE

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