Jul
14
2009
<em>Seismoscope 2: Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali</em>
 

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Seismoscope 2: Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali, 2009
Persian (1058-1111), author of “The Incoherence of Philosophers”
16.1 x 17.7 x 6.7 in / 41 x 45 x 17 cm, XY Plotter
45.2 x 16.1 x 17.7 in / 115 x 41 x 45 cm podium (contains all the computers and electronics to run the work)
11 x 17 in / 28 x 43 cm drawing
Unique
Installation view at the MCA Sydney, 2011

The series Seismoscopes consists of devices that detect vibration around them, from footsteps to earthquakes, and record this vibration on paper using an automated XY-plotter. As each Seismoscope registers any seismic wave it is programmed to draw an illustration of a single Skeptical philosopher, over and over again. The first Seismoscope, for example, always draws the portrait of Portuguese philosopher Francisco Sanches, author of the seminal treatise “That Nothing is Known”. The actual traces of the drawing follow a random path, although staying within the portrait image that has been burned into the memory of the device, –thus, every drawing is different. The artwork is the device itself not the drawings it makes: the collector or curator may give these drawings away, they may exhibit them as a pile on the floor or hang them neatly on the walls.

Other Seismoscopes:

Seismoscope 1: Seismoscope 1: Francisco Sanches
Portuguese (1550-1623), author of “That Nothing is Known”

Seismoscope 3: Sextus Empiricus
Greek (160-210), author of “Against the Mathematicians”

Seismoscope 4: David Hume
Scotish (1711-1776), author of “An Enquiry concerning human understanding”

Seismoscope 5: Pyrrho of Elis
Greek (360-270 BC), proponent of Acatalepsy (impossibility of comprehending a thing).

Seismoscope 6: Nicolas Malebranche
French (1638-1715), dedicated his work to refute Cartesians

Seismoscope 7: Juan Huarte de San Juan
Spanish (1529-1588), author of “Examen de ingenios para las ciencias”

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