“Reflection” – Making of an art installation for Prague Signal Festival

“Reflection” – Making of an art installation for Prague Signal Festival

Hello my name is Adam Cigler And i am Petr Vacek, hello And together we have created this art installation behind us We call it Reflexe and we made it for Signal Festival 2019 Every year,
Signal Festival challenges artists Making it possible for people to participate
in this big festival of light and light design This year, Signal Festival organized
the open competition together with PrusaLab We joined the competition together
and ultimately won with our project PrusaLab was not just our partner in terms of sponsorship But also a place where we could ultimately create
the art installation itself Thanks to lab equipment and expert knowledge of its members and staff Together with Adam, we have first come up with an idea on how to control the mirrors After our project was chosen as a winner
we started working on the details and manufacturing This was done together with PrusaLab team,
as they immediately took an interest in the project With their vast knowledge of 3D printing,
electro engineering and CNC manufacturing we were able to overcome inevitable hurdles on our way
such as figuring out the precise control mechanisms To make the mirrors move smoothly And to make it work online There were many problems we needed to solve We were very lucky to get free hands and fully equip workshop So we could make our installation a reality. When Adam and Petr came to our lab
they had a lot of work already done They had the whole idea in their heads,
they knew how they wanted it to look They had the mirrors shapes figured out They had a concept of this moving mechanism Basically what we helped them with was Optimization of the moving mechanism for 3D printing Making it easy to print and eliminating the need for post-process so we could just take it off the printer and use it as it is Also, we figured out how to print it in relatively fast But still keeping the quality of the prints fairly high We were also working here on the support construction itself Authors designed the piece from twelve desks that were cut and put together to make the final hexagonal shape We choose plywood as a material because we needed to make the construction light and portable And also easy to manufacture on our CNC machines For Signal Festival we did these modules Where every module have two motors Electrolab was here to figure out how to make the mirrors move the way we want Our task was to build the controlling electronics that can control all 91 mirrors For that, we used these 16 channel servo controller That was connected to this Arduino trough I-Square-C (I2C) Every 5 modules went into this Raspberry Pi
that’s basically what makes it all work We worked half a year on the project from inception to finish Last 10 days were really hectic, we worked on practically nonstop I think i can say
that the whole assembly took about 14 days Last thing I want to show you is this gadget I made It’s a desk with motion sensors
wirelessly connected to the art installation itself This remote control is useful not only for giving audience portable means of dynamically changing the environment But also it doubles as a piece of calibration equipment Since you need to calibrate every single mirror independently. With this, you can easily calibrate the mirrors to be absolutely precise Because you don’t want your mirrors to be all bumpy and not synchronized It’s an important piece of the installation that’s gonna travel the world with us PrusaLab is not a workshop where they “just have machines and people working on their stuff” What I really like about it is the community around it A lot of skilled people are visiting the lab
working on very interesting projects And we were very lucky
because some of those skilled people came to us And they helped us tremendously After we’ve made all the parts of the installation It was time to put them all together for a test so we assembled it in Prusa Research warehouse It was in testing for a few days before we ironed out all the bugs Then we disassembled the whole installation and transported it to the center of Prague – to Old Town We put it all together in
Convent of Saint Agnes in Prague Where it was for 4 days as a part of Signal Festival But the work was far from over Now the hardcore part has begun We had to make sure that
not only all 91 mirrors look perfect But also come up with animation for another day What is specific on our installation
and what gives it a soul is The animation and the way we can transform and play with the reflections I’ve made the animations in programme called
Rhino Grasshopper 3D Where i have full control over
what each member of the audience can see I can customize all the angles of each mirror
and make them focus on one target I can customize the focal length in realtime
and move the focal point where i want Thanks to 3D scan of the area We have at least a partial control over what
the audience can see Of course, everyone is gonna see something a little different Creating a much more complex experience. “REFLEXE” was created for Signal Festival 2019
thanks to Signal Productions Initiative in PrusaLab workshops We thanks everyone, who participated in its realization

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  1. Byl jsem na meetingu v PrůšaLabu a pěkně jsem si ovládací zařízení a zrcadla osahal 😉 je to zajímavý projekt. Jen tak dál. 😉

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