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hypothesis and realisation
Field Test 1 | Artspace Düsseldorf, 2005

Sketch | Hypothesis of the underground situation (fig. top)

Realisation | Setting up for the investigation of the underground situation (fig. top)

Short description
Seated on a stool next to a borehole *1 the probe-operator holds the probe-line between his/her fingers. He/She can lower the line 50m up and down with the help of Vertigo Technology *3 to navigate a probe *4 through the borehole. Video images of the hidden depths and ice-horizons are displayed on a monitor next to the borehole as well as sound recordings, which can be heard over headphones.
By moving the probe-line up and down the probe-operator navigates in real time through the application Deep Ice *6.

  List of terminology


drilling hole setting up

drilling hole setting up




*1 - Borehole
The borehole consits of two parts: A small real borehole connected via tube with the „Mobile Borehole“, hidden beneath it.

*2 - Mobile Borehole
A box located beneath the real borehole, containing the „Vertigo-Technology“, which simulates a borehole with a depth of 120m and allows a fictitious probe diving tour into the depths depending upon probe-line handling and finger tip sensation.

*3 - Vertigo-Technology
Located in the „Mobile Borehole“, this is a self-constructed system consisting of electronics, sensors, mechanics, motor, spool and the probe-line. This system enables a 50m probe-line to be lowered down/pulled up and simulates the weight and movement of a probe at the end of the line, as it is navigated through the depths.
Furthermore the system transfers the line movements and „probe“ depth data up to the PC with the software application „Wankel“.

*4 - Probe

The probe is the result of all technology together. You feel the probe diving through the broehole between your fingers. You can see its diving tour, its passing by hidden worlds and horizons displayed on the monitor. The motor inside the Mobile Borehole is controlled by line movements and depths and gives the line an impression of weight and its own life, e.g. the deeper the probe line is, the „heavier“ it becomes (to simulate gravity).

*5 - Wankel software
The software, called „Wankel“, is written in MaxMSP/Jitter and navigates in real time through the application „Deep Ice“ according to probe-line movements and finger tip sensations.

*6 - Deep Ice
„Deep Ice" are video images, transmitted from 2 cameras located on the fictitious probe which are displayed on a monitor next to the borehole.
Video footage, recorded inside real antarctic drilling holes (kindly supported by JPL / Jet Propulsion Laboratory / NASA), are integrated into the application in real time as well as elements of a fictitious “ice world”.

Technical chiefs
Roman Kirschner - electronic wizard


Ralf Baecker - software




ffUR || "Forschungsfloss für Unterirdische Riffologie