Whether it be Delhi or Las Vegas, artist Daku brings shadows to life, creating words that slowing change their shape but never lose their meaning through the course of the day. As reported by mymodernmet.com, "As part of the St.Art festival, which curates public art in Delhi’s Lodhi district, Daku’s carefully realized [shadow] installation demonstrates the power of words. The artist, whose name means 'bandit' in Hindi, had been thinking about executing this project for several years when finally given the opportunity by the festival." The anonymous artist Daku told CNN, “I had to decide the size of the letters, the length of the pieces, and the angle I could place them in so pedestrians could easily see it.” mymodernmet.com concluded "The artist carefully selected which words to include—balance, order, reflection, future, seasons, space—each a reflection on movement, time, and change. Reaching its apex at mid-day, the letters slowly blur and dissolve, put to rest each evening before beginning anew."
The making of shadow writing in Las Vegas by Daku
Daku's cut-out words on the south facing walls of buildings is a clever implementation of sundial and involves a lot of subtle mathematics. Daku's lettering is placed on the wall horizontal to the ground, usually with very little change in the scale of the lettering. Mathematically the noonday lettering on the wall is lengthened by the tangent of the latitude plus solar declination. But the visible size of the lettering is foreshortened by the cosine of the upward look angle of the pedestrian on the ground.
On the State Capitol grounds in Richmond Virginia the Women's Monument was unveiled on Oct 14, 2019 as part of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote. The Women's Monument, commissioned by the Virginia Department of General Services, negotiated two contracts with local artists on behalf of the Virginia Women's Monument Commission who has raised more the $3.7 million for this monument. The result is a large circular plaza with 7 life sized bronze statues of influential Virginia women during the last 400years. The monument will eventually feature 5 more life-size bronze statues. The statues are backed by a glass wall with the inscribed names of 230 infuential Virginia women on the Wall of Honor.. The monument is a work in progress and intends to not only complete the last 5 statues, but add other women's names to the Wall of Honor.
In the center of the plaza on a wide circular pedestal is a bronze sundial. In addition to the normal dial furniture of compass rose inscriptions, site latitude & longitude, and a chapter ring with the hours from 5am to 7pm there is additional information: points of locations in Virginia are shown around the dial in the outer chapter ring. Each location is listed by name, azimuth, and distance from the Capitol site.
With all the work to create this magnificent monument to women there is a monumental nit pick. At azimuth 354 deg and 108 miles away is "Loudon". Locals immediatedly spotted the typo for Loudoun County, which according to the official county history recorded: "In 1757, by act of the Virginia House of Burgesses, Fairfax County was divided. The western portion was named Loudoun for John Campbell, the fourth earl of Loudoun, a Scottish nobleman who served as commander-in-chief for all British armed forces in North America and titular governor of Virginia from 1756 to 1759."
In spite of the typo, the dial is an impressive work of art approximate one meter in diameter.
Photo Credit: Sara Hunt, Virginia Capitol and AA Communications
In October 1999 the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette, IN dedicated a modern looking 8-foot high equatorial dial in honor of the coming millennium. The dial was designed and built by David Aho with a stainless steel equatorial band 60 inches in diameter. The equatorial band has a brass inlay showing the hour marks with Roman numerals. The dial still looking clean and modern located on the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge and has a dedication plaque Oct 22,1999. As reported by wlfi.com news, it was one of the first public art installations in the community. Now the dial is celebrated as paart of October's Community Planning Month. You can see photos of the dial on the NASS registry at http://www.sundials.org/index.php/sundial-registry/onedial/376.html or you can watch the Wlfi.com video at: https://www.wlfi.com/content/news/October-is-now-known-as-Community-Planning-Month-in-Greater-Lafayette-562876071.html
In downtown Joplin, MO, John Hadsall of the Globe digital edition began probing into the sundial on the face of Ron Jones's Commerce Building at 113 West 3rd St. Hadsall says, "I’ve been enchanted with this sundial ever since I noticed it during a lunch-break walk. I’ve written before about how I hoof it downtown and find all sorts of treasures under our noses, from the amazing front porches in the North Heights Neighborhood to the brick sidewalks that remain throughout that neighborhood, Murphysburg and other downtown residential areas."
"The sundial is believed to have always been a part of the more than 100-year-old-building. Originally built in 1904 for a machinery company, it was remodeled into a bus station in 1937." And over the years the building was abandon, finally being purchased by Jones and his business partner Ivan McElwee. John proceeded to see if the dial told accurate time, taking a photo of the dial and its shadow "at about 1:05 pm on Thursday [18 July 2019], I took a picture of the sundial at 111 W. Third St... It appeared to be a little behind: The shadow of the gnomon was still crawling toward dead center of the 12."
John gives several possibilities of the dial's time inaccuracy, but the truth is far more interesting. The founders of Joplin in 1873 used magnetic north to lay out the street grid. The recessing of the sundial in the wall aligns the dial to true north south. A very close look at the dial construction shows that the afternoon hour lines converge on the eastern edge of the toe of the gnomon. That is, this sundial was designed for the thick one inch gnomon where morning hour lines converge on one side of the gnomon and afternoon hour lines on the other To read the time, one needs to drop lines from the left and right gnomon edges straight down creating a split noon. For the morning, read the western shadow edge with reference to the west gnomon line, giving a shadow time of about 11:41 solar time.
The Joplin dial is at 37° 5.0' N, 94° 30.8' W, about 4.5° west of the central time meridian at 90° W. That translates to 18m early. That is, when the sun is over the central time meridian, it will take another 18m before noon occurs in Joplin. We also need to include the sun's Equation of Time, that annual variability between solar and civil time due to the earth's slightly eccentric orbit and 23.4° tilt of its axis. Calculations of the EOT are provided by the British Sundial Society and others, showing that on July 18th the sundial was slow (early to clock time) by just a bit more than 6m, giving a total difference between sun and civil time of 24 minutes. With above photo taken at 1:05pm central daylight time, we subtract 1h 24m to get sundial time of 11:41am.
So now you know that this century old sundial at 111 W Third Street still keeps accurate solar time, and with a little math, you can set your watch to the minute! You can hear an edited version of John's blog with history and his not so precise conclusions about the sundial here:
For a full version of John Hadsall's podcast "In Case You Missed It" go to: https://www.joplinglobe.com/multimedia/podcast-in-case-you-missed-it-sundial-building/audio_95587b74-ab7c-11e9-b4e8-bfc13b97fe5b.html
It is a small memorial sundial, only about a foot in diameter. The polished bronze face has aged with time as have the students who gave that dial to the Pomeroy Seniior High School. The sundial gifted by the graduating class of 1927 was placed on the front lawn of the school where it remained for more than 90 years. According to a short article by Sara Hawley [https://www.mydailysentinel.com/news/42283/phs-sundial-has-new-home ] "Alumni remember that area as being 'out of bounds' to them as students. They could never put their hands on the sundial - only viewing it from afar."
But now the school is no longer used and is being sold. The Pomeroy Alumni Association began to make plans to relocate their treasured sundial, "The sundial had previously survived several floods when it was located in front of the school. After looking at several locations, it was decided to place it on the foundation of the old bandstand in the Beech Grove Cemetery."
In the NASA Photograph of the Day for 27 June 2019 is a beautiful photograph by Gianluca Belgrado using a pinhole camera. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190627.html As explained by NASA, "This persistent six month long exposure compresses the time from solstice to solstice (December 21, 2018 to June 16, 2019) into a single point of view....Fixed to a single spot at Casarano, Italy for the entire exposure, the simple [pinhole] camera continuously records the Sun's daily path as a glowing trail burned into the photosensitive paper. Breaks and gaps in the trails are caused by cloud cover. At the end of the exposure, the paper was scanned to create the digital image...."
In 2011 Art Paque explained the art of solargraphy to members of the North American Sundial Society at their annual conference in Seattle. The construction steps involve creating a pinhole in thin foil, then taping the foil onto a tin can that has photographic paper inside and opposite the pinhole. The lid on the can is sealed and most important, pointed at the sky with firm support to prevent moving. The rest is up to nature as the sun crosses the sky each day. Beautiful solargaphs such as from Gianluca can be obtained with patience tracking the sun for three to six months. In the end your solargarph will be a day by day time capsule of solar observation.
Type "solagraphy" into your web search engine and you will discover a host of sites showing the details of making your pinhole camera. For example: http://www2.uiah.fi/%7ettrygg/camera.html and http://www.pinholephotography.org/Solargraph%20instructions%202.htm
Students at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture in Cambridge, Ontario are experimenting with the benefits of 3D design and printing. In particular Joanne Yau created a set of hexagonal hollow bricks called sundial arches that lets in sunlight from different portions of the arch as the sun travels across the sky. We expect that the length to width ratio of the bricks can tailor sunlight for specific times of the year (summer, spring/fall, or winter).
Joanne Yau was one of three teams challenged to learn how to operate a new industrial 3D printer capable of squirting out clay. Professor Correa, interviewed by 3Dprint.com said “There is no other way to make these kinds of façades without enormous cost and time,” said Correa, who has been involved in 3D printed research on an even more advanced level, studying how such objects respond when exposed to varying degrees of moisture and temperature. “They are completely unique.” “The printer allows us to make much more complex geometry,” said Joanne Yau, part of the team that 3D printed bricks for the ambitious arch/sundial. “To make this by hand or to extrude it would be virtually impossible.”
See a video of how the 3D clay bricks are created in an article by Bridget O'Neal June 5, 2019: https://3dprint.com/245698/whistling-walls-sundial-arches-ontario-architecture-students-3d-print-clay/
"Infinity Possibility" was dedicated this week [May 5th, 2019] at Brown University in Providence R.I. thanks to a grand design challenge to the university's School of Engineering by 1979 alum Charlie Giancarlo. Giancarlo wanted something "that would represent the rigor of engineering work, but have artistic beauty as well". According to Brown news, "A student group called Brown STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics) took up the challengte, and the result of more than two years work is a stainless steel noon mark sundial measuring 15 feet long and 4 feet high. STEAM’s then-president tapped Austin and David Schurman, both first year students at the time, as project managers. The pair assembled a team of around 20 students to start brainstorming ideas and getting input from the broader Brown community.
David Shurman and his team worked with a sundial expert, Bill Gottesman, a member of the North American Sundial Socity, Shurman said, "We wanted to explore the interplay of the mobius strip's shape with that of Brown's unique analemma path to make a sculpture personalized to the location it will inhabit for, hopefully, up to a century." In the end section of the "lazy eight" mobius strip is a hole allowing the noonday sun to fall on the northward piece of the strip below. The lower mobius band has an etched analemma showing civil noon in front of Brown's Engineering Research Center.