CC Lab—Midterm

For my midterm project in CC Lab I’m making a noise activated (mini) guillotine. With this I want to explore the boundaries between revolutionary/insurrectionary praxis and art, as well as question the role of the crowd in creative and destructive acts.

To start off with, I built a paper prototype of the guillotine.

Paper guillotine

I also started wiring the sound sensor and getting that to print out values on an LCD screen.

After that I started hooking the sound sensor up with a servo motor that can handle up to 7kg.

Sound sensor with servo motor

The sound sensor detects when the sound in the room has crossed a certain threshold, and tells the servo motor to move 180 degrees.

With this, the string in my hand is going to (hopefully) be the rope holding up the guillotine blade.

Next I went to the wood shop on campus and made cuts to the wood I had got.

In the wood shop

After that, my girlfriend (who has worked as a timber framer) kindly showed me how to drill and nail the stands into the legs, because I’m a giant moron who has never done woodworking before.

Legs of the guillotine

I took those pieces back to the wood shop and finished constructing the rest of the guillotine.

The constructed guillotine

I drilled screws into the top piece, drilled & put hooks into the top and side, and hung a rope from them that attached to the blade. I experimented with having the motor drop the blade (while holding the motor because I didn’t want to actually attach it yet).

Guillotine with motor

Finally, I attached the motor to the wood once I was confident I could get it to work more than 50% of the time.

Guillotine with attached motor and Arduino

Here’s the final guillotine in action:

The completed guillotine