The earth is a volatile body, and though humanity has enjoyed an existence relatively low on catastrophes, our planet will occasionally demonstrate the tumult that lies just beneath its surface by tossing out an earthquake. We can’t do very much about that, but the artists among us have found fascinating ways to reflect on this precariousness of certain parts of the world.
We saw a fine example of this type of creative work at our San Francisco Hackathon, where the winning project was soundQuake, a 3D earthquake data visualizer. And a brand new work, designer James Boock’s Quakescape 3D Fabricator is a device that he created in response to the Christchurch earthquakes that hit New Zealand in 2011.
The Quakescape 3D Fabricator
Quakescape uses data from GeoNet, which is then transfered onto the scaled-down 3D sculpture of Christchurch via Arduino. The different colors represent the magnitude of the tremors, and two horizontal axis (controlled by stepper motors) drizzle the paint onto the precise location of the earthquake.
A new spin on earth art, anyone?
The blank fabricator prior to receiving data.
Blank printer workshop.
A close up of the stepper motor.
A close up of the printer head.
Photos courtesy of James Boock.