Second Burial at Le Blanc



From artist Sarah Browne’s website

… In the gallery, a ‘countdown clock’ is marking the final days of the franc, producing a stock market inspired, ticker tape output of the days, hours, minutes and seconds alongside a live data stream of euro exchange rates—to the dollar (in flux) and the franc (fixed). This paradoxical object, which accumulates masses of paper as it measures time running out, is also the catalyst for a 16mm film made by the artist in Le Blanc. With the participation of local shopkeepers and residents, a staged procession carries the clock from the modern part of the city to the old.

I built this machine for Sarah Browne for her solo exhibition Second Burial at Le Blanc at Project Arts Centre. It uses a heavily modified dot-matrix receipt printer to print a countdown to when the Franc is no longer legal tender in France and prints live stock information from the internet. The machine is completely wireless and battery powered and uses WiFi to connect to the internet. Using three 3Ah, 12v lead acid batteries, the whole thing can last up to 12 hours between recharges. The Arduino micro-controller turns the printer and WiFi module off between prints (every 5 minutes) to conserve power.

Other challenges included modifying a 16mm film reel to act as a paper spool and working with a wood turner to make the wooden base.