Vague Boundaries – Particles, lines, and waves

Created by Jonghong Park, Vague Boundaries explores ‘boundaries’ between matter and phenomena. The custom made machine draws straight lines continuously on the paper by snapping the thread with the mechanism of the chalk line tool. The string mounted in the machine allows the straight line to be actualised in the material world as two phenomena, line and wave, using chalk or graphite powder.

The machine puts chalk(graphite) powder on a straight and taut thread and leaves chalk(graphite) marks at regular intervals on the paper(1.8m x 2.8m wide) lying on the floor. The sharp lines divided at the beginning demarcate the divided area. Repeatedly drawn lines blur their boundaries as the lines are drawn, and the powder not drawn as a line leaves traces of vibration around the lines. Eventually, the line form fades and leaves the shape of a specific wave pattern with a gradual gradient. 

A chalk line is a marking tool used by mankind since ancient Egypt. This basic tool is still a key tool used to actualize the boundaries of blueprints in today’s construction sites. This serves as a cornerstone for moving various symbolic systems to the material world and is used as a medium for materializing where to move the material existing in the symbolic world is created through CAD software. Building materials are moved and placed according to the markings of the chalk lines. In other words, the chalk line becomes the cornerstone of reduction from the symbolic world to the material world. It has a temporal property; soon the chalk powder disappears or is covered by others. 

Jonghong Park

Several rulesets that vary the spacing and sequence of lines have been devised and coded in the Arduino framework. Two 25kg High Torque Servo motors were used to hold the thread after strong pulling, and a 12v 2rpm DC motor was used to implement the slider-crank mechanism for snapping the thread. Each crank and conrod was built with Autodesk Fusion 360 and each was 3D printed with PLA.  2020 aluminum v-slot profiles were built to implement Y-axis movement and driven by Nema-17 stepper motors. AccelStepper Arduino library was used for fine movement.

This project is an artistic practice combined with MA Thesis “Observation And Imagination: A study on the vague boundary between matter and phenomenon” and developed at the University of the Arts Bremen.

Project Page | Jonghong Park