The Poperator

The poperator is a machine that writes redundant pop news into sand to emphasize the ephemerality of this media. The internet is flooded with superficial news about popular celebrities every day. Submitting this kind of information takes no afford, but once it is on the internet it will always be there. The poperator on the other hand takes an immense amount of time to write down a short sentence and once the sentence is blurred in the sand it is gone.

The machine itself is a modified CNC-machine which is entirely made out of hardware store materials and some electrical components like an Arduino, sensors and motors. Contrary to the polished content it delivers, the machine looks very industrial and rough.

The machine is controlled by a program that can be operated with the terminal. Once a file is selected the machine starts drawing. Four motors drive the three axes in six different directions and enable the machine to work very accurate. This is possible because of gear wheels and photo sensors, which turn the motors into stepper motors.

A wire connects the pendulum with the machine. The tip is carves lines into the sand which are only a few millimeters deep. The sand is a very fine-grained quartz sand. Even the most delicate lines are visible in its surface. The sand was chosen as the material to draw in because of its diversity. Sand has the ability to visualize tangible shapes and it can go back into its initial state without any change. Furthermore the idea of drawing into sand is a cliché and romanticized, therefore it fits perfectly to the superficial pop news.