Throughout this studio group we have explored natural, mathematical and physical anomalies and tried to find the hidden data within it. Everything that exists gives out some sort of sound or vibration and the process of visualising this is called Cymatics. In it’s elementary form it is is often the process of vibrating a medium such as sand or water in order the generate shapes.
The history of Cymatics originates from research into resonance by Da Vinici, Galileo and Robert Hook and then Ernest Chladini – Cladidi experimented with using a metal plate and sand to show the standing wave – or Chladini Patterns – a plate creates.
There are a multitude of other mediums that can be used to visualise sound or even generate sound from visual.
Cymatics is in it’s early days of exploration, it is a looking glass into a hidden world previously unseen and the list of scientific applications growing each day. Consider that sound has a form which you can see and that it can affect matter and cause a form within matter – now imagine the architectural applications possible.
Having had a look at 2000-2015 sci-fi glimpses into the future, climate change remained a constant, unchanged factor of influence. This study investigates the basics of desertification, how dunes are formed and how they are shaped and moved by external forces.
A couple of experiments investigate the wind effects on sand formation and also an interesting method of solidifying the resulted dune with adhesive and heat.
Near Unison, my project exploring harmonographic traces is currently being shown at Kinetica Art Fair. The exhibition is in Ambika P3, the exhibition space attached to the University of Westminster on Marylebone Road. For more information on the exhibition, and details about tickets and opening times please visit the Kinetica Art Fair website.
The exhibit features a prototype of the interactive harmonograph swings that could form part of the larger installation proposed for Burning Man Festival, along with casts of the harmonographic traces left in sand, and photographic work documenting the process.
“The 5th Kinetica Art Fair returns February 28th – March 3rd 2013 at Ambika P3, as one of London’s annual landmark art exhibitions and a permanent ﬁxture in the Art Fair calendar, renowned as the UK’s only art fair dedicated to kinetic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and new media art.
Kinetica is hosting the work of over 45 galleries and art organisations nationally and internationally, with representatives from UK, France, Russia, USA, Poland, Holland, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Indonesia and Japan, collectively showing over 400 works of art.
A huge interactive light sculpture from Dutch artist Titia Ex will greet visitors as they enter the impressive Ambika P3 venue, and giant 3D sculptures from Holotronica will hover above the main space of the Fair. Other highlights include an exoskeleton hybrid of mananimal-machine by Christiann Zwanniken; a giant three dimensional zoetrope by Greg Barsamian; and a life-size ‘Galloping Horse’ made of light by Remi Brun”
NEAR UNISON is an installation that allows participants to visualize the harmonic relationships between them. Pairs of sit-on pendulum swings create several large scale harmonographs that scratch drawings onto the surface of the Black Rock Playa. The structure that holds these harmonographs is itself a physical representation of a harmonographic form that can be seen from a distance across the Black Rock Playa.
The harmonograph was a 19th century machine that was invented to explore the geometry of sine waves. It was soon developed into a popular parlour room toy that was capable of producing beautiful and delicate drawings simply by mapping the relationship between two swinging pendulums. By changing the lengths of the pendulums, their wavelength and oscillating frequency are changed. When the ratio of these two frequencies is something complex like 35:73, there is no discernible pattern, but as soon as it hits a simple ratio such as 3:5 or 2:3 a clear pattern emerges. The relationship between visual harmony and mathematical ratio is exactly the same those found in musical harmonies: the ratios that produce beautiful drawings are the same as produce harmonious musical chords.
The title ‘NEAR UNISON’ is derived from the set of patterns that occur when the ratio of the two pendulums is very close to 1:1, as will occur when people of a similar weight are using the interactive harmonograph. It is expected that the patterns produced by these interactive harmonographs will describe, in an abstracted manner, the similarity of all human beings, while emphasizing the subtle differences between individuals.
The overall form of the structure is also derived from a 3D harmonographic surface with a ratio that is in this ‘near unison’ region. A plywood structure supports pipes that trace the harmonographic lines through space to create a delicately curved sculptural form that sits directly on the Playa. Suspended from this structure are a series of connected pendulums that participants are able to ride like swings. When they are are used, these pendulums trace harmonographic patterns onto the surface of Playa. The drawings that are created will map the interaction between pairs of participants.
A series of experiments tracing the movement of a freely oscillating pendulum in a layer of sand.
The pendulum’s centre of gravity is slightly off-centre, meaning that the the x and y components of its movement oscillate at very slightly different frequencies; the harmonic relationship between these frequencies causes remains constant as the amplitude decreases rapidly due to friction between the pendulum and the sand. The rate of decay of the amplitude can be controlled by the depth to when the pendulum penetrates the layer of sand.
Casts of these forms were made by pouring liquid plaster carefully over the sand once it had been held in place with a light coating of sprayed acrylic varnish.
As a continuation in the development of the Crest Pouring technique, diverting components are introduced in order to gain control over the flow paths of the material. These videos show a series of initial experiments in RealFlow, which help to understand how different components placed in different configurations have a specific effect on the material flow. These experiments will now be backed up by more specific investigations and physical experiments.