The Aerographer maps the air to raise fragile grounds. In times of ubiquitous technological mediation and accelerated uncertainty, borders among territories and boundaries among bodies do not endure nor cease to evaporate. What is it like to live in airlike times, when everything is transparent, and no ground lingers? The Aerographer is both a system and an individual, trapped on groundless air, seeking to sustain a place inside of the clouds.
The installation reacts to subtle changes of airflow within a room. Conceived to be mounted temporarily and through serendipity, the installation can adapt to different spaces and situations modularly. Each module contains a fixed center part, and one to three fixed probing parts. Each probing part works as a disassembled hot-wire anemometer, grasping constantly micro changes of temperature between itself and the center to measure airspeed. In between them, a node travels by converting the measured airspeed difference into mechanical linear motion, which shifts retractable bands that can be connected to other nodes. A map thus unfolds, from a tree-like structure of fixed parts, to a networked kinetic map of differential measurements in motion.
The project speculates on the gaseous state of matter as Zeitgeist. It investigates how the contemporary digital utopias of network and information are shifting towards the turbulent tensions between materiality and boundaries, orientation and borders, homogeneity and transparency. The work explores the chaotic behaviour of the air for unfolding an unstable tangible map of a place, and deals spatially with the uncertainty that arises from a space of shifting bounds.Development and prototyping:
All the parts were specially designed for the installation. The physical objects were 3d printed (white ABS and PLA), and/or laser cut (transparent and white acrylic plates). The PCBs were designed in Fritzing, and later produced by a custom PCB prototyping technique that uses a laser cutter to take off pre-painted paint over copper plates, and later regular etching.
The whole circuit is based on an ATMega 328p running an Arduino software. The main PCB connects the ATMega to three DRV8825 stepper motor driver carriers, which drive three NEMA 17 stepper motors, and the four sensor modules. The sensor modules contain mainly two 1N4148 diodes and a 1W 10Ohm resistor. The 1N4148 works as highly sensitive temperature sensors, which in conjunction, work as a cheap and simple hot-wire anemometer that measures airflow speed.
The initial phase of the project comported a series of experiments and prototypes, mainly using a Genuino Uno. Bellow, a video of one these prototypes:
For a complete description of the creation and development processes, please visit: http://viraseres.com/map/