Archive for the ‘Maverick Machines’ Category

Vibrating Pask’s Ear

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Today, the audio amplifier failed on Andy Websters Sound-Generated Thread System. This was due to the dendrite growing to its maximum and shorting out the output stage of the amplifier. So I have brought in my trusty old amp I made when I was 15 (Sinclair kit), and connected a loudspeaker in series with the dendrite to save the amp, and am now passing rectified audio, rather than smoothed (1000uf). Direct AC may well be interesting as this would have an effect like the tide, eroding and depositing the metal ions in flux with the audio signal. Sound is being picked up in the space of other sound works with four microphones, and fed to the dendrite, especially influential are the wine glass tones from Tuning Pask’s Ear (by J.Bird & A.Webster) and the pulsing sounds of Dendrite (by Roman Kirschner).

The glass vessel holding the electrodes and Copper Sulphate solution, rests via foamboard, on top of the upturned loudspeaker. Physical sound vibrations are now being fed to the dendrite, adding a feedback loop which may encourage dendrites to physically resonate with particular tones. The signal to the speaker is then likely to be modulated by dendritic formations so as to cause audio feedback. More sound of that particular frequency is encouraged, that sound gets louder, which may then reach a point where the dendrite shakes itself to bits. All speculation of course.

Audio Dendrite II

Exhibition Opens!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Maverick Machines opened on Monday evening, with a wonderful opening speech by Timothy O’Shea, Principle of the University of Edinburgh. Tim recounted anecdotes of the time he had invited Pask up to Edinburgh in the 1970′s, bringing the spirit of Pask very much to life.

Timothy mentioned that many of Pask’s machines were truly maverick, malfunctioned and were unreliable – and as if Pask’s spirit was in the exhibition, two reliable displays that had been working for the preceding two days suddenly malfunctioned and stopped working….

The opening was a great success full of animated discussions, interactions and conversations.

Below are a series of photographs of the exhibition, commencing from the entrance and moving clockwise around the space.

Entrance to Exhibition PIR Illuminated Posters Central Area Solar Stacking Electrochemical Glasses E-Synthesiser E-Synth Oscilloscope & DVD’s Three Videos Central right side of exhibition Axon Technologies Memory Device Sound-Generated Thread System, DLA Simulation Close up - two Days of audio stimulation Hearing a Reality Video works from Bartlett Evolving Sonic Environment III Sensitive Light, velvet curtains and plant

More to follow..

Dendritics I, II and III

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

The Copper dendrite glass is evolving slowly, with beautiful jewel fern formations at the edges. I have added white LED’s to the circuit for illumination and a visual indication of the current, which is likely to increase dramatically as the dendrites reach the outer electrodes.

copper-led-10july.JPG copper-led-close-10july.JPG

The Iron version has not produced any dendritic growth, just a slowly expanding amoebic form around the central negative electrode..


The Mixed Salts Glass is producing quite a colour range, indicating the flows and reactions of the salts and metals under the electric fields.


Dendritic Glasses II & III

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

The dendritic process slows down as the dendrite grows, occupying more fractal space and requiring more current.

Dendritic Glass I (Cu, CuSO4) is still growing (when fed current) since my previous post.

s1c-14.JPG close4c.JPG

Underneath the glass..

Dendritic Glass II – Iron and Ferrous Sulphate Solution, and Dendritic Glass III – Al, CU, Fe + MPG have been created and are in the process of growth and time-lapse recording:

dsc00768.JPG dsc00776.JPG

Dendritic Glass III – Al, Cu, Fe + mixed salts (inspired by Electrochemical Glass)


diii01-1.JPG ..+3hrs.. diii01-7.JPG

Dendritic Glass

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

This work represents a macro version (12″ square) of the demonstrator electrochemical glass slide from Axon Technologies, also to be featured in the exhibition.

The central electrode is set to -V, whilst the outer ones are at 24V+. The dendrite grows out form the centre producing tree like formations (plus steamy atmosphere due to heating effect). The time between each image is approximately 1 hour, by the end of today I hope to have a fully grown dendrite.

By changing the relative voltages of the 4 outer plates, it should be possible to steer and shape the dendritic growth.

e4chem01.JPG e4chem02bc.JPG e4chem03bc.JPG

Static Machine : completed

Saturday, June 30th, 2007



Framed static machine – exhibition ready (+pir)


Prototype Static Machine

Monday, June 25th, 2007

In preparation for the exhibition, before building the real thing, I am creating a number of experimental prototype maverick machines. Some time ago, whilst building a high-voltage sculpture, I noticed the kinetic effect of static electricity attracting thin sheets of foil together, similar to the electroscope. Over the last few days I have been trying to re-create this effect, today I succeeded, and here it is harnessed in this prototype machine:

Static charge as data, capacitor memory plates storing the data, oscillating mechanical pendulums switching data through static forces, pulsing neon indicators glow, ebb and flow. Interdependent interactions, conversations between forces, sensitive to its environment, a hand subtly altering the pulsing.

Danger! high voltage shocks!!