Building The Machine

final design sketch of the machine

We are nearly there with the first test of the machine – due to take place next week.

Ian Jones (Sherwood Wood) is the brilliant carpenter who is building the machine with me and Matt Little is the equally as brilliant engineer who is building the guts and functions of the machine.  So far we have a mock up of it’s basic functions in MDF and the metal frame is being made ready for next weeks test.  We have also been working on the finishing, panelling and metal decorative bits to finish it off. It needs to looks like it has travelled through time and space and all weather to get to the place it gets to (like the Tardis in Dr Who) but that it is highly technical, with an added hint of magic.

Next week we will hopefully be testing the machine’s functions from end to end…

1. Testing the sign controlled by temperature readings from the weather station

2. Testing the hand crank and video controlled by precipitation (rain)

3. Testing the printer with future weather scenarios for 2044 and a webcode that will enable people to type in the code here on the website and see explanations about how the predictions were made

Testing the sign
The sign at the top of the machine will light up, the lights increasing in intensity based on the live temperature from the weather station.  When an extreme weather scenario occurs (based on live temperature, precipitation and wind speed) occurs then the sign will pulsate.

The Prediction Machine test sign with LED lights behind it

Testing the hand crank
The hand crank enables people to power the machine with their own energy – when the crank reaches 12 watts the screen powers on and ghostly faces appear, voices crackle into life and a message is transmitted disrupted by the weather data.  Precipitation, temperature and wind speed data break up the video, the more extreme the weather the less able you are to hear and see the message.

the hand crank

basic mock up of the machine

 basic mock up of the machine


Visualising Data at August’s workshop

August’s workshop involved visualising the data we collected whilst doing the human sensor activities and creating felt data maps for each weather type that we can then add the predictions to.  At the end of the next session we will have a felt data map to represent each weather type being used to understand current weather and then we will be able to sort which prediction goes with which weather type.  These felt data maps will become artworks in themselves as well as a way to understand how we can allocate poetic and evocative narratives about the future to the data.

We also talked about how we can mark this process through the event planned to take place at the end of the exhibition in October.  We talked about folklore, seasonal festivals and harvest festival.  We also talked about how we can symbolise and ritualise complex and distant things like seasons, climate and weather that are hard to understand in our everyday lives – which then led to making the abstracted data felt maps.

Mild Weather Data Map
1 to 15 degrees C

data map for mild weather types

planning the data map for mild weather types

Heatwave Weather Data Map
29 to 100 degrees C

data map for hot weather types

Arctic, Freezing and Cold Weather Data Maps
-100 to -0 degrees C

datamaps for arctic, freezing and cold weather types

Next session we will be adding warm and hot data maps and adding the predictions to the weather types