Tuesday, June 24, 2014

INDN 341: Videophile

Our installation all done and dusted, the presentation sussed, and our video filmed and edited, it's time to sign off with the last post. Matt did a brilliant job of making the video, especially given the fact that he did it completely independently of the actual filming process, where Mishayla and I worked.

The song is Melancholy Aftersounds by Kai Engel.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

INDN 341: Final Photos

These are some of the best photos to come out of the project. I really love how visceral the project ended up looking, with lots of nods towards junkyard styles as well as steampunk and Jean Tinguely.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

INDN 341: Progress Update 4

Sadly on Tuesday night, calamity struck. I caught my thumb in the face sander of the linishing belt in the metal workshop. After a day and a half in hospital followed by reconstructive plastic surgery to my thumb, I returned to the workshop to help my group with getting the project done. Unfortunately because of my injury, we've lost both time and manpower (I'm not allowed to do anything with machinery or beyond light work for 6 weeks). Sadly as a result we've had to cut some things from the project in order to get it done in time (we decided to reject an extension).

Before I injured myself, I was working on a different shroud for the wheel, one that was a lot lighter and constructed out of an old bike guard. I widened it with the help of some mild steel wire, which I then welded together.

By doing that I could then chop the keg remainder in half and then use the two halves for the booth. I welded the two halves of the keg piece on as the sides for the booth, and they work really well there. I also stripped the paint off the booth, and now it's pretty much all got a raw sanded steel look to it. I love the aesthetic.

Once I returned, we discussed plans and decided to scrap the fogger and just focus on the dripping and the ultimate destruction, the trough. We also looked at powering the whole device and getting it moving. To do that, we attached an internal cog made of lasercut acrylic to the bigger of the two wheels. This is then connected to a small construct involving a much smaller cog (40 teeth versus the 680 on the wheel!) and a small worm drive mounted to the fork of the wheel.

Here you can see the rope we found at the Wellington port mounted around the wheels. We were very kindly given it by some of the port workers. According to them it's extremely strong and able to withstand a lot of punishment, while at the same time being okay with being bent into extreme shapes. This aspect was key, given the fact that we have to have the rope move through some tight bends around the trough.

To force the rope into the trough, we made a little construct that forced the rope below the confessions into the water of the trough. This little section though proved to cause a lot of friction issues, and is resultantly the part that's causing the most difficulty with the turning. Unfortunately given the circumstances that we've had to go through, the amount of time that we've had hasn't quite allowed us to resolve that problem. But, other than that, we've tested everything, and everything works. Even the motor worked for some parts of the wheel, but the wonkiness of the wheel caused some issues (as I said it would!) for overall smoothness on the motion. It's not ideal functionality, and the motor isn't quite up to scratch in terms of power.

All things considered though, we did an amazing job. Everything works except for one thing, and that's a result I think we can all be very proud of, given all the bad luck we've had.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

INDN 341: Progress Update 3

Moving on from where we were last time, we decided it would be a good idea to test out the rope I had left over for the purpose we wanted it for. Unfortunately the rope that I had left over was a bit too narrow for our purposes. The frame had been holding up well though.
We added small crossbeams to the legs to help them stay in place as well as give extra support and structure. Unfortunately the whole installation is starting to get pretty heavy now, but that was always going to be a problem. Oh well.

Cutting the keg in half proved to be a hell of a mission. The keg's edges were very very tricky to get at with the angle grinder, but we managed to cut the keg in half eventually with a bit of elbow grease and a hacksaw. The keg is made of steel fortunately, which means we can easily weld it to the frame. However, we're thinking that in stead of doing that we just leave the keg free, in order to allow us to easily remove the keg and empty the water out of the "trough".

While I worked on the project, the others went out shopping for various bits and bobs. One of the things we still want to build in is the fogger, which is going to need a sort of holder for the water and the fogger itself. We also needed a tap of sorts and another container for the dripping mechanism.

One of the things we did do though was attach the support struts for the keg to sit in. By doing that, the keg can be lifted off the ground and also have a place to rest when it's full with water.

One of the parts that we still had to work on was a shroud for the wheel in order to protect people's identities directly after they had put their confession on the installation. To achieve this I though we could use the other half of the keg. To bend it, we needed to put the keg into a hydraulic press, which had to exert 20'000 pounds of pressure on the keg to get it to bend to that point.

INDN 311: Ambivisualisation.

The project that I've been working on has finally come to a close, and the components are finally finished. The result I've gotten is one I'm reasonably proud of, but I think the video might need a bit more work before I try and get the work I've done onto an international blog. Getting work onto the blogs can be a bit of hard work, as I've found in the past. Generally having a good idea can get you places on the merit of the idea alone, but often it comes down to your execution just as much. Pull off a good idea crappily, and it might as well not exist. That said, beautiful execution isn't everything either. I think I might revamp my video a bit and focus on the sleep-cycle aspect of the project a bit more, as that is what my lecturer had to say on my work. But all in all, it's not too bad! I'm fairly pleased with it all!

Monday, June 16, 2014

INDN 341: Progress Update 2

Today's work consisted of advancing on the design. The beauty of having a single central shaft would allow us to attach numerous other parts to the design. This meant that we didn't have to have lots of separate parts that weren't attached.
Here's the slightly bigger wheel attached onto the frame. Both of the wheels spin well, but unfortunately they are both a bit wonky from misuse and from being discarded. I have a bad feeling this might come back to haunt us later. But for now they'll be fine.

The small rounds we have at the bottom of each leg are going to be the feet for the installation. They should stabilise the build as well as stop the legs spreading too far. They're just these small steel rounds we found. Probably were either weights or feet back when they were used.

The construct on the right is from some sort of shelving unit, perhaps for a piece of stereo equipment or the like. The good part is that's now something we don't have to build. It's going to be the housing for our booth where people can write up their confessions, and will have some sort of walls around it to protect the users privacy when writing their confession.

The beer keg was something that Matt brought in, which should serve us well in providing pieces for various elements. We plan on cutting it in half down it's long end, in order to make a trough for the trough element of the design. The other parts will serve us in making some of the other components.

We've gone for the complete junkyard aesthetic, as this fits our desire to make the project as cost-effective as possible, as well as fit the pseudo-religious social commentary we're going for.

Friday, June 13, 2014

INDN 341: Progress Update 1

Now we're well into the making phase. The design phase for our group though has a definite overlap, considering what our design is like. It's very much "just eyeball it", "add that shit on", "why the hell not" and "this will totally work". But I think that's what we love about the design that we're working on. The process is so fluid and so problem response, but that's what makes the whole thing so dynamic and fun to work on.

I managed to get two old bike wheels from a anarchist bike workshop as well as the corresponding forks to go with them. Well, when I say "corresponding", what I really mean is they just fit. *just* But they'll be just the ticket for sure. One of the problems we're looking at at present is the problem of suspending the wheels without actually having the confessions pass between the forks.

An idea that I had to resolve this was to attach the wheels to the forks with the forks on a central shaft that would run from end to end of the installation. By doing that, we would be able to circumvent the problem with the confessions passing between the forks and the wheels entirely.

To do that, we found a heavy steel rod that we could fit both of the forks into. We also were taught how to weld. This has so far proved to be an immense asset, and has led to some sweet decisions, especially since we then know that it will be strong enough to work. Welding is incredibly strong. We were able to attach the forks without much fuss.

We had to make a central point for the two halves of the shaft to be joined, so that the forks would be evenly balanced across the center.

Aaaaand then there's the hard worker of the group, Mishayla. Somehow she managed to squeeze in a selfie or two. Lots of metal work and testing how it would all fit together.

This is a small test piece we made to see how the cross-section of our design would work. The little legs had small drilled holes in the sides at roughly 60 degrees. The legs (steel bars) were then slotted into the holes and then welded around the edges. Keeping them straight was quite tricky, but in the end we managed to get it to the point we were satisfied.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

INDN 341: Post Presentation Re-Shuffle

Coming out of the presentations, one of the most pressing concerns about our project was that we hadn't quite nailed exactly what we wanted to do. We had settled on an idea, but the result we were seeking to achieve just wasn't overly interesting. Initially a bit insulted, we took the advice and re-wrote our project over the following two weeks.

One of the things we realised was an issue is that in order to create a wholesome exprerience for the viewers and users, the project had to be exciting to watch. It also had to be interesting and dynamic, while also nailing the way we wanted the user to feel. One of our problems was that we weren't sure what we were going to make the thing look like. This was a bit of a problem initially, but after looking at lots of Jean Tinguely's work, we decided to emulate his style of using lots of junk and scrap. Since we were looking at something rather substantial, this would help cut down cost and having to source a lot of stuff.

The next thing that we had to do was decide on a few different ideas to use as destruction techniques. We collectively decided that the main focus of the destruction would still have to be on water, since that was one of the main aspects of my initial project. The aspect of destruction that we were definitely going to roll with (since it was one of the easiest and most effective) was the concept of dragging the confessions through a trough of water. By doing that, the notes were almost guaranteed to be destroyed, as well as removed from the hooks on the belt/rope they travel on.

The next idea that we had was for a fairly destructive method. This method would definitely cause a fair amount of damage, as well as prepare it for the water trough. The idea was to attach some small pieces of metal to the end of a spinning motor in a way that would have it essentially chop up the confessions in short order.

The  first element that we want to build incorporates with the booth that we want to build for submitting your confessions. The booth allows people to put up their confessions, while still maintaining anonymity as they do it. The point of this being that people looking at the installation cannot immediately see people's confessions. By shrouding the booth, as well as the first wheel that the confessions pass around, the viewers won't see their own confession pop up on the installation until some time later (say 10 minutes?). This is then incorporated with the first destruction method, whereby the confessions are smothered in fog.

Kind of a dodgy sketch, but it looks at the idea of  how it might all fit together. Starting bottom left, the user writes their confession, which passes behind a shroud around the wheel, and then appears at the top surrounded by fog. The note then passes along the line. This is where the note will be the most visible, since it passes unscathed for the most of the top right section. It then passes underneath a small vessel that drips onto the notes as they pass below. We decided to scrap the spinning blades ideas, because we decided it might be too dangerous. The notes then pass underneath the wheel and into the trough, where they disintegrate, before passing back into the booth, where people hang up their new confession.

This design was then slightly revamped as we began to decide how the materials might work together, especially since we were now going to go for a total junk yard aesthetic.