A prototype of Near Unison was exhibited at Kinetica Art Fair 2013. The pair of connected swings allowed visitors to become part of a large scale harmonograph that scratched a unique drawing into the sand below. The physical and psychological differences between the two people using the swings accounted for the different outcomes: with weight, height, starting time, patience and playfulness all playing their part. The drawings created existed for a brief moment as a fingerprint for the two people.

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The armature of the harmonograph acted in a similar manner to a gramophone needle and arm, relaying the sound of the drawing being created up to the user’s ear. Listening to this sound while watching the drawing emerging had a calming, almost hypnotic effect on most poeple. With explanation from the artist and through explanatory diagrams and text, the exhibit also provided an opportunity for visitors to understand the basic principles of simple harmonic motion.

The Near Unison prototype was enjoyed by hundreds of people ranging in age from 3 to 80 over the course of the five day exhibition, and generated interest from people hoping to see it developed as an art exhibit, a large scale festival installation, and as a piece of school play equipment. Watch here for further developments…

Copyright © 2013 Dan Dodds.

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