An Instrument to Record

We were set the brief to create an instrument to record or measure a particular aspect of the site at Dungeness that was unconventional. An instrument that would give results that we would not be able to find from research.

I initially considered looking at how I could record the wind in a visual way, but I quickly came to the conclusion that this would not give me any interesting information that I could develop later on.

Initial Instrument Ideas
Initial Sketches

Based on what I had already found out about Dungeness I was interested in exploring the micro landscapes of the abandon objects at Dungeness. I thought about how I could go around exploring these micro surfaces and came up with the idea of a plotting machine which would lower a pin onto a surface and record the height, for its x and y Co-ordinates. I set about modelling it in rhino.

x and y Machine Side View
Side View of x and y Machine

The machine would drop a pin onto a surface and then rotate 90 degrees plot a height value, lift the pin, then the tracks would move the x value an increment of one and repeat. When it completes an x-pass the y value would move forward one and the x would be reset. The plan was that the “program” was based on cams moving off a single motor with the relevant components connecting at different times and therefore making a potentially “digital” machine as analogue as possible.

x and y Machine Perspective
Perspective View of x and y Machine

After investigating the logistics of making this machine within the time constraints that were set. I decided to simplify the design. I considered the idea of abstracting the data to make the height difference greater, in order to record it more precisely. One of the ways to do this is using a Pantograph. These were tools used by draftsman to scale a drawing in one or two dimensions.

x and y Machine Side View
Sketches of Pantographs and how the physics works behind them.

This combined into a final design which was then built…

x and y Machine Side View

Above Section and Plans show how the instrument would work and below an exploded axonometric showing how it was built.

x and y Machine Side View

An Instrument to Record

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