MEDA 202: System and Transformation – (Prototype)

This week was the week we had dedicated to prototyping and displaying our progress for Assessment #3. In preparation for this project I was trying to find what within this semesters work I found interesting. Early in the semester we looked into zoetropes and similar works to these. These stood out to me a lot, I think because these machines were actually a precursor to film, one of my favourite hobbies.

One artist who does a take on zoetropes and similar devices is Eric Dyer.

Dyer continuously relies on the ‘spinning’ of his works to intrigue people, he began exploring the zoetrope, an early animation apparatus whose evolution as an art form was cut short by the rise of cinema. He brings animation into the physical world with his sequential images, sculptures, installations, and performances.

Coming back to look at Dyers works while trying to inspire myself to make a work, it was clear to me that i wanted something with at least a spinning element as i found it very interesting and think that it is a powerful tool in regards to ‘user experience.

In the end my project progressed into a small blacked out lamp with a zoetrope style shade over the top. The shade having small different shaped holes all over, and the lamp being a high powered LED rather than a normal light bulb. The device will be in a small area, curtained off completely with black sheets to make the space as dark as possible (roughly 1.5m x 1.5m).

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Another interest i gained from this semester was the idea of capacitive touch.(                         So naturally i thought it would be the best way to introduce an element of user experience. In other words the small area will be completely blacked out until a user enters the sheets and touches the only non-black object in the area. The device is attached to an Arduino running a code that causes the LED inside the shade to turn on as well as causing the shade to start spinning.

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The effect is the outside of the area, will begin to have lights spinning continuously impersonating the be-littiling feeling often felt when looking up at the stars for long periods of time. Provoking thought about ourselves and what the individual feels.

Through the prototype process I found that the motor i had bought and put together was too loud, as well as too cheap. ( The morning of the prototyping the motor burnt out and started shorting out my Arduino. So for the prototype i could only display the light turning on and not the shade spinning which for me is the most important part of the work being interesting.

I also realised that although I had the most powerful LED i could buy at JayCar, it wasn’t going to be bright enough to project the light as far as I actually wanted. (

Basically the prototyping helped me to fine tune exactly what i needed to improve change and add to the project. Things like, the painting, the replacing of weak parts with sufficient ones and creating a space where this works sufficiently.

The idea of having a prototype with feedback fits in perfectly with the idea of system and transformation.



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