In Leonardo Da Vinci’s machines, gears are often the main mechanism that initiates rotation and movement. To combine my personal interest and part of Leonardo’s invention, I decided to design a drawing machine from scratch, which can be used to create my own abstract art.
Gearograph, a combination of gear; operates like a pantograph and a spirograph, but with a sense of freedom and unpredictability. Testing on material was the main part of the research, as well as reading different sources of books for inspiration. Two dimensional images contain a capacity for spatial illusion and I think this perspective of abstract art is related to architectural design.
Abstraction comes from the world. The interesting aspect of creating an abstract art is that the author controls the image but not the reaction to it. “Composition, harmony, proportion, light, color, line texture, mass, and motion are all part of the vocabulary of sight, we tap this vocabulary, and the pattern that go with it. When we compose or frame images the commonality that allow us to respond to images, even abstract ones, is rooted in our ability to recognize infinite manifestation of the physical world and the mental constructs to which they correspond.” – Kit White, 101 Things to Learn in Art School
Red, Grey and Black | pen on 51x 60cm paper
Sandstorm in Pieces| Pen on 56x76cm paper
Alberti invent this instrument, which consists of two parts, the horizon and the spoke. It can provide an accurate and easy way of drawing the map of Rome. The map that the instrument produces will consist of several layers of information including: walls, river, streets, temple, public works, gates, and habitable buildings.
The “horizon” is the circle which the depiction of the city is enclosed, and the circle is divided by 48 degrees and each degree is divided into 4 parts, called “minutes”. The “spoke” is the length of radius of the horizon, the spoke is divided into 50 parts with each part is divided into 4 minutes.
Once the instrument is complete, we then can check the table provided and plot the points given. “Corner” is the drawn angle created by the intersection of two lines. “Apex” is the furthest point of the curvature and the curving back from that “apex” which the curved line makes in its passage.
I marked each category in different color and each significant monument/building was assigned with a number which indicated at the back of the instrument.
In the Medical time, astrolabe was the instrument for people to find the existing orders/geometry in the heaven which is above the earth, and hopefully to bring the orders down to the chaotic world. It was not only used to determine the time of the day but also for doctors to figure out what could be the best solutions for the patients.
For this project, I used cardboard for both the front and the back which indicate the degree, time, direction, zodiac and calendar. A piece of transparent acetate( the rete) was marked with the main stars and is placed on top of the front which has the horizon, hours and degrees. The rule lies on top of the rete and the front side of the astrolabe while the alidade lies on the back side.
The resulting astrolabe is a simplified and modernizedversion of that described in Geoffrey Chaucer’s c. 1391 Treatise on the Astrolabe. It was designed by Dominic Ford and Katie Birkwood, based on S. Eisner, ‘Building Chaucer’s astrolabe’, Journal of the British Astronomical Association 86 (1975-1976), pp. 18-29, 125-132 and 219-227. It is calibrated for latitude 52° north; it works for areas that are in northern Europe and most of the North America.