May 14, 2014

If you want turntable art, this is it

While there is certainly a lot of math that goes into creating a digital device or controller, the type of math that goes into an analog device is much easier to understand.  Turntables themselves are an example of a spinning object – something that can be translated into a sin or cosine wave on a screen.  What’s more is that by varying turntable speed, you can create mathematical relationships between other devices.  Imagine that one turntable simulates the orbit of a planet in perfect harmony.  What happens if you add another planet to the orbit?  It will likely influence the original planet and cause all types of weird behavior.  This is the idea behind the turntable spirograph.

You take two turntables and attach them to arms that have the ability to draw.  You set each turntable’s speed so that it is slightly different that the one next to it.  Since the rotations are continuous, you end up with the drawing of a continuous graphs that reflects the relationship between both turntables.  It’s actually very mind-blowing when you see it in action, since this pattern would be very difficult to create with an intentional route.  Let’s just enjoy it for what is actually is, and that is art.