Inspiration for the general form of Scroll_1 came from these film canisters as well as other devices made at the end of the 19th century when people were trying to make still images move, early attempts at animation. I think of this drawing as a type of rudimentary animation.
Scroll_1, is a fusion of numerous aspects of my artistic practice. The seven and a half meter drawing is done with charcoal and ink. I collaborated with an engineer to help me control the Arduino circuitry and make 3D prints for various components. The whole mechanism is controlled by Arduino, which is a user friendly open source microcontroller. The joystick moves the drawing left or right and by pushing it inwards activates an LED strip. There are photo-optic sensors at the ends of the image to stop the motors. 12Vdc power supply.
The Arduino R3 board and Motor shield allowed for manipulation of motor speed and control of the photo-sensors
The entire drawing is over seven meters long, done in charcoal and ink
Two sensors at either end of the drawing stop the motors when the viewer has reached the end.
idea for housing the bearings
design drawings used for the 3D printer
A brief video showing the spools being printed
Rice paper was considered, but then found to be too sensitive and prone to tearing. However, it would have been the ideal choice if possible. There was quite a difference between how the paper moved when horizontal as opposed to when mounted vertically. When vertical the edges of the paper became quite damaged and is something which has now been resolved.
The initial idea was to use two stepper motors, to reduce noise, but that would have made the code more complicated so it was then thought we could use one DC motor in conjunction with a tension spring. This did not work,as the spring was not strong enough to counter the torque of the motor. Therefore the final and maybe most direct solution was to use two DC motors, which the Arduino would be able to reverse polarity/direction and speed.
At first I was making the drawing disconnected from the "machine" but later drew with everything assembled, which was easier as I could move the drawing back and forth. The choice of paper was difficult because I wanted to use charcoal and ink, which would need fixative, but could not use a paper that was too thick (torque on motors) or too thin (bucking and ripping), so I chose a 200 gsm Strathmore charcoal paper.
The drawing is thought of as a panoramic snippet from a work I created many years ago called “This Must Be The Place”. I often don't think it is necessary to try and explain it, as the viewer will inevitably create their own narrative, and I quite enjoy this. I will say that by revisiting this old idea, I tried to imagine what has happened in that world I invented after twenty years.
Here you can see Scientists from The Wonder Company extracting fragmented light from the inner Earth. They have encapsulated the hole in the ground and are exporting this light to be studied and refined back in their laboratories in the City.
After many years of analysis The Wonder Company has learned how to infuse the light they extract from The Organics (Island) into a plethora of mass produced consumer objects.
As the original idea was inspired by film canisters I wanted to make a cover for the piece that made reference to the 126 film canister, but thought black would through off all the tones in the drawing. I had originally imagined the cover being made of metal, but in the end felt the overall aesthetic of the piece was quite Asian, decided to made it out of paper.
Prototype of the cover with overhead LED light