I’ve titled this project | | | O | | |
It’s a iconization of the visual of this project, the | being the lasers and the O being the face in the middle.
Firstly, the entire experience really turned out to be better than expected.
From getting the lasers, cardboard, learning to solder, hooking it all up to a power supply and it working was a great learning experience for me and is giving me the confidence to pursue this sort of project in the future. It really felt like quite the risk, but I was certain of the visual I had in mind.
At essence I wanted to recreate a Sunn O))) concert experience. Sunn O))) is a drone metal band. Their music consists of long droning distorted guitar riffs. Their concerts involve a lot of fog and the vocalist on tour with them (Attilla Csihar) has a costume that’s made of mirrors and his fingers have lasers shooting out from them.
Thus began my second journey into fog and lights.
I also thought there were similarities to concerts and religious experiences, and my final idea was an amalgamation of the two.
A room like the old days where only the top priests could enter or devout followers.
Hence my intended layout of the room below
The configuration I wanted for the lasers, was to be to be by the side, and there be a clearing in the middle as a path to the face with beams from its eyes
As for the laser configuration, I first intended for it to be 5 clean rows per side
But I had another idea for another configuration
by shifting two columns down I could get a potentially more interesting layout, and also use 2 less lasers.
I made these gifs in After Effects because I wanted a way to check how they’d look in 3D space outside of my imagination.
I settled on the 2nd formation.
I set out measuring and poking holes for exact distances and had my book of measurements from each dot to the next and line to line.
However, after everything was soldered and wired up, my lasers came up short of my planned spacing. So I started at the middle and poked new holes accordingly.
As long as the relative distances were the same it would all be alright (thankfully).
This would be first time ever seriously soldering, and with so many components, I’d want to make sure it was working at every stage.
I checked all the lasers if they were working one by one, then when did a test (video below) of the lasers connected by crocodile clips in a series. Lastly after I soldered the entire board together I checked one more time. Thankfully, even tho it was my first time, every stage and every test went fine. I was deathly afraid I’d short or blow a laser out.
You can hear my sigh of relief at the end.
I soon found out that facing all the lasers vertically down uniformly was highly unlikely with this setup, and i got quite worried about the outcome.
But I actually really liked how it turned out, the lasers pointing in every direction really gave it a nice touch. Also the projector video I made for this final version was not too bad, but after putting the video i made for the first iteration of this room, I and other people agree that it was actually a little nicer, alas, if only I had thought of changing it during the crit session. I’m also glad that I was able to make audio for this project, it was really quite a pleasant surprise to get the throat singing type of sound by recording temple chants and then slowing it down and adding some reverb. I still enjoy listening to it.
Overall I’m above and beyond satisfied with how this project came to be. I really do want to do more in this line of visual space and hopefully will have more opportunities to do so.
Many thanks to Zi Feng for helping me source online for cheap and plentiful lasers, 60 in total. Along with a 5V power supply and cardboard.
Thanks to Joan and Tiff for helping me hoist my large cardboard slabs up, to Jake and Zi Feng (and those who taught them) for teaching me the ways of the solder.