Audio to Visual Strings: A Dynamic Repair

I was thinking about how to bring my already used guitar strings laying in my garbage can back to life, and repurposing it a way that can give nuance to the use of an originally audio use of guitar strings: which is for plucking them on a guitar. But as Steven Jackson says, everything is meant to break. Once guitar strings become unplayable, the guitar player breaks them and replaces them with new strings. So my ways to try to repurpose these broken items is also an attempt to bring the appearance of an aftermath to the nature of an older broken thing.

With my attempts at dynamic repair, I originally tried to use them on the athletic band of broken underwear in order to make a contraption that could be used for a wheel or a fashion statement.. After trial and error for about thirty minutes, I found that nothing useful would come of this, or at least nothing I saw.

Then I just focused on the guitar strings itself. What was the original use of them? Obviously the use was to send vibrational signals through the guitar and through the guitar cable an electrical signal that would then be converted to audio feedback through an amp which matched the vibrational sound of plucking a guitar string by the sound wave it produced. So… in short it was audio art. So what if I changed the mode of art from audio to another mode, perhaps visual? I’ve always like drawing, and I was thinking that if I connected a multiple amount of strings, I could achieve an outlining stencil in order to draw basic shapes.

I cut up my used guitar strings with wire cutters I use to change strings. I also cut the golden colored ends from the guitar strings. Inside the ends there are holed in which I can use to connect multiple strings. As seen, I connected two strings together with two of the ends at first.
I then connected both of the strings in three of the golden colored ends with some strings overlapping in a way that all of the ends are closed and a shape is formed. These edges are designed to be adjustable.

Using the shapes formed by the two guitar strings connected by the three golden ends, I could make adjustable shapes that repurpose the strings from audio art to visual art. Combining innovation and repair is where we get the dynamic repair. With the new repair of these guitar strings, we see how one can take something originally for an audio technology to visual technology.

The drawing on the left has been creating by tracing the guitar-string traceable outline, the audio-visual dynamic repair. This can be adjustable to fit other shapes as well.

The adjustability of the dynamic repair adds a nuance onto this contraption. There can be multiple shapes one can draw from one stencil permutation. The possibilities through this are endless. This is a testament to how people’s psyches can show different images through the same objects.

Even by changing the orientation, one can think of the possibilities for this stencil. For example, how many drawings can you think this can form from using the same orientation, or a different orientation?
One of the examples of how this shape can be realized by a human mind. Did you think of this? Did you think of a snail, or did you think of a train going down the station? All of these are possibilities and speak to the flexibility of the human mind.

By combining the factor of orientation on a piece of paper, the factror of psychology of the human mind with the same orientation, as the adjustability of the the golden colored ends, the possible drawings that can be traced are truly endless.

So when thinking about the endless possibilities of this new creation from the dynamic repair of guitar strings we come to the question of what this means. What applications come from this? What is the problem that this is solving? What problems does it create? Does this make me a maker, or am I just a student in this class making something for an assignment?

Obviously I don’t have the answers, but as Neil Postman says, “the point is in the asking” (LibrarianShipwreck). I can try to answer the questions, although they are meant to be thought about and not meant to have concrete answers. I think that there can be applications in schools, psychological institutions, meditation centers, etc., but the point is that the applications that aren’t said are the ones that other people will think of, and so I don’t have all of the answer. The problem being solved to me is the innovation of what to do with broken guitar strings, and honestly I might do this with my guitar strings, but that is because I have guitar strings to use. You can do this with regular strings or anything is malleable enough to do the particular things that I’m doing. I could also see that although this solution recycles, not all people can buy that many strings in order to change them and make stencils out of. People also might not have wire cutters, which creates the problem of how not realistic this can be for people who do not have the means to do this.

What’s left? A nuanced reflection of what I can do with more time seems necessary. And while this was hard to think of, I think it is useful to think of this if I actually wanted to market this as a product. I think if I had more time I would experiment with different types of guitar strings or even instrument strings such as violin strings or even bass strings. I would also see how to make it more safe for child use because of how harp the ends of strings can be. I think that thinking of these ethical problems of safety and access can go a long way.

Works Cited:

Jackson, Steven J. “Rethinking Repair.” Media Technologies: Essays on Communication

Postman, Neil.”Neil Postman’s Questions (+1 from me)”..LibrarianShipwreck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *