Making the sun catcher

to Sacha van den Haak & Felix van Dam’s window

So we want to expose the silkscreen to all the daylight a full day has. Besides the light sensitive emulsion we would have to come up with some kind of installation to catch every minute.


Starting point is to calculate the silkscreen’s maximum size we can use. The sun rises at 06.30am and sets at 06.30pm. That means 12 hours of daylight. We need a light sensitive emulsion that will be usable for 1 minute. That means 700 minutes in total and 700 spaces on the screen. This way it will be big enough to see the chemical reaction of the light with the emulsion.
After having some different grids we settled on 6 bars that fit 2 hours per bar, giving each minute a 13×1 cm space to get lit.


Felix likes screwing, wink wink, nudge nudge.

Now we would have to figure out some kind of mechanism that allows us to light the screen as accurate as possible. After a bunch of different ideas we eventually came up with a simple solution made out of thick MDF boards (to keep enough force on top of the screen).
Because we were going to operate the installation manually, by the plates sliding between two beams, we decided to design the ‘cassette’ in a way that would involve the least amount of sawing. This way we wanted to reduce the amount of gaps and the possibility of stalling.


You always try to anticipate all the things that could go wrong, but you can only know for certain until you do it. So next step: using the thing. Thank god we didn’t cut anything up and used thick MDF so the thing has the weight of a small anvil shop.


That’s one lovely looking piece of ‘engineering’.