Consider this in essence a technical report.

This cutout is a scan of our living room using a laser distance finder. The laser was attached to a fixture which allowed it to be rotated around a common center. I pointed the laser at a feature of interest, such as an edge or intersection. The pointed direction and distance to the interrupting surface were then recorded by dots on an expanded pvc board. The dots were then connected and the resulting shape cut into what you see.

It doesn’t look like a self-respecting room. The jagged appearance is the product of the permanent features coupled with the disposition of furniture and nick knacks. In some cases the distance into an adjacent room would exceed the limits of the board and would result in a squared-off termination.

Aside from a portable table, the equipment for this consists of a Stanley Fat Max Tru-laser distance finder, locked into a homemade Plexiglass enclosure. Extending from this is a metric ruler aligned with the laser. Distances are read off the Fat Max and translated into a spot along the ruler.

Why bother? Creating such scans is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Until recently distance finding was an expensive proposition and inexact when affordable. Now one can get into the game for a hundred bucks. But why? Curiosity. Could such a process result in something that might register as art?

There’s a lot yet to figure out. It’s an awfully mechanical thing to do, but the living room result surprised me with a certain air of mystery and a nice sense of extension. Now to haul the kit around as the technique invites some adventure. There’s an intersection of rooms and hallways at Fallingwater that sends shivers up my spine and I wonder how it would scan.

What chance does this thing have of becoming an art form? That’s my question.