A few more images of Instrument Nine, a development of Instrument Six. It is able to float shadows in mid air between the object and the surface on which they should be cast. There are a number of new experiments in this version. The white shadow maker casts its shadow on the side of the rhino, which in turn contributes to the form of the floating shadow. This had worked out well so far, although I have redesigned and rebuilt the light projector to get a better sense of depth. I will try it this evening if all goes to plan. The back of the rhino is painted white to disturb its shadows on the screen (or effectively the picture plane). I have previously posted pictures of James Perry Wilson’s background painting for the White Rhino diorama at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), in which a rhino is painted white on the hidden side so as to avoid a shadow on the background painting from the taxidermy (which would dissolve the perspectival construction, shadows and sciagraphy being an integral part of perspectival projection). The rhino in the instrument therefore plays both screen and object, but is chosen entirely because of the AMNH story, while I work out what or who the main characters should be. That and my jealousy of Perry Kulper’s giraffe which inhabited his part of our work on Instrument Eight! This project is again a collaboration with Perry, although each of the parts we are making and drawing are discrete at the moment.
Instrument Nine is a test bed to check the viability of a number of ideas that might go into further instruments if they fly – a little like the role of Instrument Four with the flying paint instruments.
The registers on the screen/ picture plane help calibrate the depth at which the shadows float above the surface, and also produce three dimensional shadows of their own.