This will make more sense if read as a continuation of the previous post on Instrument Five
The first genration of Instrument Five Drawings have the continuing problem of the main thrust of paint obliterating the more subtle splatters that come from the collision of paint on the drawing pieces.
Instrument Seven solved this problem (future post)
The early experiments also played with paint viscosity and targeting the paint catapults, which were more accurate and had greater repeatability than i had imagined when designing and making them. They were designed for a disposable plastic tea spoon as a paint holder but I found that a hemispherical measuring spoon provided a more coherent throw.
As the throw happened very quickly, and having an fascination with the work of Arthur Worthington and Harold Edgerton, I decided to capture the paint in flight to see what it was up to – in effect the occupation of the architecture as the drawing pieces also constitute an architectural model (this will make more sense when I have posted a model from which the drawing pieces develop).
The first attempts with 500 watt flash lamps used at their lowest power (for the fastest flash) were hopeful (above) but not fast enough to resolve the paint as a crisp frozen image. This would be solved by using a powerful battery powered flash in the subsequent generations. The significant discovery was that making these photographs made a hopeful change in my engagement with the work. When making a drawing I set the aim of the catapult in the hope of the paint travelling in a certain trajectory, and perhaps colliding with one of the drawing pieces in particular. With the photograph, which is timed manually so that even with my most developed method I am only catching the paint in the photograph every two or three throws, I have more than one anticipation in making the throw of paint.
One is the aim – what I want the paint to do – and the other is the hope for the photograph. While the aim is predictable, the figure of the flying paint is not, so in both cases, even if the photograph does register, the real hope is for the unpredictable things that happens. Having the straightforward task (of getting the timing of the photograph right) made it much easier to have a sincere hope for the aiming of the paint while at the same time hoping that it would give much more.
With a new flash that provided the speed that I needed, the photographs during the throw became more important to me than the drawing. I alternated between orange and white paint to see the temporal build up of paint on the drawing surface and the residual paint from the previous colour, un mixed, helped describe the behaviour of the paint in flight. The story and architecture discussed by these drawings will be explained in a subsequent post.
In the lowest image notice how the line of paint remains continuous as it stretches over the drawing pieces.