Wanting to create a sense of time, we planned to create a timelapse of daisies in a vase of black ink. The daisies would absorb the ink and become black. However, after 8 hours, the daisies have yet to turn black even slightly.
We decided to improvise on the spot and add the ink onto the flowers by flicking it from a brush. However, this changed the concept of our installation as it was no longer focused on a slow process over time. But we managed to think of another interpretation of our installation that was also successful. Here is the final video we used for our installation, which we edited it in black and white to make it aesthetically consistent with the kinetic aspect of the installation:
This project has taken Bridgel and I on a wild ride, pushing us in our boundaries and comfort zone in terms of technicality. It was the first time I actually used a screw and the woodcutter, working with hinges and new mechanisms. We also were not very clear on our final product, having to improvise and problem solve along the way to make things work. Thankfully, things work out in the end, and we are proud with our final outcome! Thank you Cheryl for your guidance this year 🙂
It was a huge challenge to think about an executable mechanism that would accurately represent the zebra’s anatomy and also incorporate the woodpecker idea. Bridgel and I went through a few changes to reach our eventual final product!
Idea development 1:
Studying the horse’s anatomy and reinterpreting it into gears and wooden planks
For idea one, we initially started with a single pole for a single bird. A stepping motion would push the pole up to “reset” the bird to the top of the pole. We also manage to capture the anatomy of the zebra to a certain extent.
After discussing and thinking through about this idea, we felt that the representation of the zebra and oxpecker is too direct. In terms of the expulsion of the blood and the painting stripes on the body
Only having one “oxpecker” at t he spinal area would perhaps not be as effective as the bird would not be able to reach the dips of the back
Would the effect of one oxpecker be enough?
Unsure whether the stepping mechanism would work
We continued to work and develop this idea to our second development!
This time, we plan to add multiple wooden poles to have more birds in the model so that the birds will be able to reach a wider area of the body. With this improved design, the birds will be able to reach the user’s arms and shoulder blades.
In addition, we could add a wooden ring around it so the user can lift up the ring to reset the birds to the top of the pole.
Also, it is super expensive to create a bird that is made entirely out of wood (the planks we bought for the body already amounted to $40!). Cutting and sanding the wood will also take up more time, so we decided to stick to using styrofoam, which dimensions we followed from our successful prototype. Perhaps we could use putty or paint acrylic paint over it. We were still exploring the idea of using red ink to stain our users.
Cheryl commented that we could try to make the model adjustable for different heights and sizes
Some poles on the floor to peck the legs of the users?
Need supporting rigs to prevent the poles from shaking
We went shopping around Clementi and found the key to our model, HINGES!
Many hinges were used to do up our model
We also did more research!
We spent a lot time looking for ready made ball joints, but found an easy solution on Youtube. All we need is a ball, cups, and styrofoam. We plan to combine this with our wooden “legs”.
An olden gladiator headgear
The zebra’s eyesight is vastly different from ours, having no vision at its frontal part due to its eye placement on the sides. Perhaps we could expand on this idea, letting users wear a headgear (similar to the image above) that blocks the front part of our normal eyes, letting them experience a zebra’s sight.
Zebras in a herd
We also realise that the reason why the stripes act as a camouflage is because predators cannot differentiate the individual zebras. If we were to interpret this fact into our model, perhaps we could paint everything in one colour to confuse our users.
Bridgel and I sat down and discussed about the zebra and Oxpecker, thinking about the most interesting parts of the individual animals:
We then looked through online sources for inspiration of our project.
For our first idea, we wanted to focus on the “alarm” system that the Oxpecker has. Upon the incoming of a predator, the oxpecker would fly up and make calls which will alert the animals nearby, therefore incorporating this upward motion and sound element onto this idea. On the other hand, basing on Theo Jansen mechanism we wanted to recreate the anatomy of the zebra’s legs and movement. The bicycle model would incorporate its trotting movement.
For our second idea, we were thinking of doing an immersive experience of what the zebra face on a daily basis. This will be an accurate representation of being pecked by the Oxpeckers, where the user would stand in the centre of our model, and the spine bone will have the woodpecker mechanism pecking behind the user. The legs will be a simplified version of the horses anatomy.
The said body cast:
Woman wearing a leg brace
In the end, both of us decided to stick to idea two simply because it is easier to execute with our tight dateline. More importantly, we wanted to explore further and create something more original than the Jansen model which is already provided for on the internet. We went forward to do some prototyping to get more ideas about our model.
Made out of styrofoam, spring, marble and a brass fastener
Miss Cheryl pointed out that the “beak” of this prototype is too sharp, so changing it would be important. Surprisingly, the mechanism works easily. The marble is good enough to act as a proper weight for the item to drop down the pole as well.
Wooden poles we got from daiso and Artfriend!
We used a
The anatomy of the leg have been posted before, but here is the GIF again because we used it for a reference.
– This was a different illustration style for me, and it was enjoyable executing it.
– This zine project emphasises on the hierarchy of the elements in the page, which is a skill that I learnt and one that needs to be further honed in future.
– It has taught me to be much more creative in my layout design instead of just depending on online resources. I realised that a combination of references, inspiration, and my own ideas helped to create something that is more original
– On top of my point above, research is also key for design. This is why site visits and a study of our topic is crucial for our project
– Looking at other people’s zine made me realise that design can be further ventured from digital techniques only. Instead, many did theirs in so many different methods outside of the screen which makes design so colourful with variety