Tin Whiskers, or The Ghost in the Machine Part II

by Matthew Gehm (MArch '19), Jonathan Gregurick (MArch '21)

Our project represents the culmination of exercises, developed throughout the Hybrid Formations course. Like “tin whiskers”, strange metallic growths which mysteriously appear on printed circuitry, this project imagines a machine order which is then altered, or corrupted through geometric, formal processes to create a new, hybrid whole. The machine is an entity in motion (the ceaseless turning of gears, belts, pulleys, or hydraulics) that becomes “trapped” or frozen by its own formal corruption: the introduction of an algorithm that builds new geometries from its existing verticies and faces in a seemingly chaotic, yet highly controlled mechanism. As “tin whiskers” preclude the inevitable, functional destruction of the machine, so too does the algorithm formally destruct – or de-construct – the machine, much like a geometric virus.  The project is a conceptual hybrid of motion and stasis which blurs the lines between control and chaos, structure and fenestration, or machines and technics.