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what you make of it: a kinetic light art sculpture

by:Mingfa Tech     2019-12-30
This structure is an overview of the project I created during my residence at Pier 9, called \"What you think about it \".
This is a dynamic art device that uses light and mirrors to show generative poetry. Fifteen laser-
Cut mirror from ceiling with letter shape hanging with chainmounted motors.
When rotating, each letter changes the angle of light reflection, projecting the information onto the wall for our explanation.
This project is the result of a lot of experiments, trials, tribulations and failures before the last article I saw in the first video.
The idea of using a mirror is generated by my fascination with the physics of light, its behavior, and how to manipulate it in the context of an interactive art device to create meaning.
Light is one of the most important forces in the universe.
Through the light, we can perceive our world, and through our perception, we create our world.
One of my early prototypes included hanging many small round mirrors from strings attached to the frame.
The idea is that the mirror will be arranged in space in such a composition to form a word, but the light reflected by the Mirror will form a different word.
Two videos are attached, one showing the original prototype and the other using a mirror cut in a letter shape to spell out two different phrases instead of using a simple round mirror.
I was very pleased with the results of the eyes they saw the sculpture and decided that I wanted to push this further.
My plan is to create a larger version of the sculpture and connect the mirrors to the motor, program them to turn and reorient the reflected light in various compositions, over time, to spell out various phrases.
Conceptually, I was influenced by the writings of the philosophers Robert pilseger and Steven Pinke, who both wrote how language became our interpretation, understanding, and in some sense
For me, poetry is a way to break the rules of language, by doing so we create new meanings and thus new ways of looking at the world.
In this spirit, I chose to use the phrase \"what you think of it\", referring to the creative power of the individual.
Using some crossword solving apps I found online, I can see that the letters in this phrase can hold more than 500 different possible words, as well as thousands of possible crossword puzzles.
The picture here comes from my initial suggestion for this project, describing the scale and how I can imagine it being installed in studio space at Pier 9.
Continue to make!
Once I \'ve identified the font I want to use, I \'ve laid out the text in Illustrator, converted it to the outline, and added the tag to hang the mirror.
The two connection points of each mirror ensure that they do not rotate too much and have a good predictable resting position.
I cut these on the Epilog Laser cutter with 1/8-inch mirror acrylic.
The attachment is the Illustrator file.
I specifically designed this frame to accommodate the specific type of Hitec servo motor I am using.
The servo system runs along the track along the entire length of the frame.
The four whole on the corner and one in the middle are used to install the frame from the ceiling using a 1/4 threaded rod.
The cut-out label around the edge is used to install the acrylic box placed on the top of the frame and hide all electronic devices.
I use a piece of aluminum spray frame, which is great because it is strong, light, conductive and therefore can serve as a common basis for all electronic products.
Attached is the vector file of the frame.
I then made a simple acrylic box and put it on top of the frame, hiding all the electronics and cables.
The box is 48 \"long, 4\" deep, 6 \"high \".
I originally created the box using this web tool for creating newsfit boxes.
I then modified the design so that it can be assembled together with smaller parts because my laser cutter bed is too small to cut 4 feet long acrylic, I split the front and back of the box into two pieces.
In my Illustrator file, the box is pressed by six-fit together.
The front and back are glued together by two pieces.
This is how I designed it so I can take it apart, flat
Package shipment.
After cutting all the pieces out, put the front and back together and glue 2 \"x 6\" rectangles along the seam.
Out of the box, the motor belt has a circular disc attached to the shaft.
I designed a special wing that can be attached to the motor.
These wings are used as mounting structures to hang hooks and chains that support mirrors.
Illustrator files for these wings are attached here.
It\'s time to connect our custom motor bracket to the motor.
Now we are ready to install the motor on the frame.
I control 15 motors with Arduino Mega, which is attached to the middle of the frame.
Note: Before inserting anything, it is important to insulating the bottom of the Arduino with tape.
This will prevent it from short circuit when it is placed on the conductive aluminum frame; )
There are three wires for each motor.
Black is ground, red is power, yellow is signal.
Wiring groundI uses the frame as a public ground for all components by connecting the Black ground wire to the frame using one of the bolts that holds the motor in place.
Connecting the power supply to the motor requires the use of a separate external power supply as the Arduino is unable to draw enough current for all motors.
I connect all the power supplies together with a small breadboard so that an external power supply can power all 15 motors.
Wiring signals the power and signal cables of each motor need to be extended to the middle of the frame where the Arduino Mega is located.
Since Mega has enough input, I simply used pin 31-Motor 1-4515.
The most important thing here is to use public ground for the power supply of the motor and the power supply of the Arduino, otherwise the signal to the motor will not work!
Connect the ground from the Arduino output ground to the frame.
Connect the ground from the motor power supply to the frame.
All components have one thing in common now! Great!
This is the most challenging part of the project for me.
With the help of some friends at Pier 9, a lot of time doing research online, drawing sketches in my notebook, I was able to work out the triangular formula I needed, in order to calculate what angle the mirror needs to turn to redirect the light to a specific position on the wall.
Comes with the Arduino app, which runs the motor to guide the reflected light to spell out different words.
In addition, a custom library called lighletter is attached, which is an abstract representation of each letter.
This is where all triangular calculations that calculate the angle of rotation of letters occur.
Finally, I came up with a very powerful system for me to enter any word or phrase in the software and all the logic and formulas happen internally.
Currently, the software can be set to several different modes.
A sweep is basically a slow way to get all the letters back and forth through the wall, which is very useful for calibration.
The defined pattern displays a specific word sequence in the order I defined.
Random mode randomly select words from pre-picksdefined list.
I installed the frame on the ceiling, about 3.
5 feet from the wall, 1.
5 feet from the ceiling.
I used 5 toggle bolts;
Each corner of the frame is one, once again in the middle, to prevent the frame from drooping in the middle.
I have tried many different types of strings, threads, and wires for hanging mirrors.
Finally, there are many reasons why I chose to use the chain, but mainly because using the chain allows me to control the length fairly accurately, connecting the hook to the end of the chain, it is easy to install and unload the chain onto the motor and install the mirror onto the chain.
Another challenge is to find the right light source.
Because there is quite a bit of ambient light flowing into the space where the project is installed, I need the light as bright as possible.
However, in order to produce sharp reflections, the light source also needs to be as small as possible.
Artist companion resident Salvagione pointed out to me the solution to use a single super artist
Bright LED with controller and power supply.
However, because the LED is super bright, it also generates a lot of heat.
I designed and built this custom heat
Also act as a sink for walls-
Mount of light.
It is made up of several stacked aluminum layers that are cut on a water jet.
It has a potentiometer built in that allows me to easily control the brightness of the light, with a groove in front to install a mask to easily shield the light.
After the assembly is completed, the lamp is installed directly on the wall 8 feet from the ground and centered on the hanging mirror, so as not to shine directly into the eyes of the person.
Water Plan-
The jet is attached here.
Parts used: once the frame is mounted to the ceiling and all the other parts are ready, it is relatively simple to put them together.
Hang on the motor using a custom chain
Wings attached to the motor.
Once all the chains are up, hang the laser
It\'s easy to cut the mirror.
Although this project is very challenging, I am very satisfied with its results.
During the production process, I learned a lot about the physics of electronics, triangles, manufacturing and how light works.
I plan to keep working and have ideas for future iterations of the work.
Looking ahead, I really want to integrate a more meaningful approach for computersgenerated text.
I\'m currently implementing context-
Free syntax in the app.
Thanks to everyone at Pier 9 for giving me this opportunity!
Thank you for reading.
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