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Dan Dodds

Near Unison is series of works culminating in an installation that allows participants to visualize the harmonic relationships between them. It investigates the harmonograph; a machine that became popular as a 19th century parlour toy capable of producing beautiful drawings by mapping the relationship between two swinging pendulums. The oscillation frequency of the pendulums can be changed by modifying their lengths. When the ratio of the two frequencies is complex there is no discernible pattern, but as soon as it hits a simple ratio such as 3:5 or 2:3 clear patterns emerge from the chaos.

The works explore tracing harmonographic movement using light, and physically capturing it as marks in a bed of sand. A future aim of the work is a large scale installation at Burning Man Festival in Back Rock Desert in the USA.

This proposed installation will act as a giant interactive harmonograph, with people taking the place of the weights of the pendulums. The title Near Unison is derived from the set of patterns that occur when the ratio of the two pendulums is very close to 1:1, as will happen when people of a similar weight use the interactive harmonograph.

Dan Dodds is an architectural designer and artist based in London. Over the past two years he has been part of Diploma Studio 10 on the MArch [RIBA Part II] course at the University of Westminster, where he has been investigating geometric and natural systems using analogue experiments and parametric modelling.