Mirrored Art Projects vs. Open Playa

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Quidam
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Mirrored Art Projects vs. Open Playa

Post by Quidam » Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:48 pm

I'm working on a project involving mirrors and would like the community's opinion on keeping it reflective. For price, safety & weight reasons, I was considering using acrylic mirror in 4'x4' sheets, mirrored on both sides.

It has been suggested to me that the static electricity will hold dust to the acrylic, drastically reducing the reflectivity of the material.

Could I hear from anyone who has experience working with mirror projects that are exposed to the wind & the dust? Should I go with glass? Should I tile it?

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:23 pm

Contact the manufacturer?

Wipe once in a while?
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Post by Atar » Mon Feb 06, 2006 3:04 pm

Let your graywater run past its surface :)
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Post by robotland » Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:13 am

Polished sheet stainless steel.
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Quidam
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Post by Quidam » Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:25 am

Thanks for the suggestions! (however tongue-in-cheek)

I'm particularly looking for feedback from people who have worked with mirrored surfaces out there. I don't think steel would have the reflectivity I'd need, and I'm already designing ways it can get wiped down periodically.

What I'm wondering is- will acrylic mirror pick up and hold dust fast enough that even occasional wipe-downs won't keep it useable?

I've worked with acrylic mirror on the playa before, but in a more enclosed area (you may have bounced in a miror box hung from bungee?) and so I'm curious to know what it'd be like more exposed.

I'm designing a mirror maze, you see...

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Post by ThePikey » Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:33 pm

I remember the mirror box! I loved crawling into that and being shaken like an English nanny. But then you lost the blinky thing to carry inside towards the end of the week, and I was mightily disappointed.

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Post by Zona_the_stona » Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:06 pm

i think this thing was polished steel, it was really really shiney

Image

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Quidam
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Post by Quidam » Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:49 pm

Wow. Color me convinced- I'll look into polished steel.

Sorry we lost that blinky thing. Usually we have a stone soup pot full of kicked down flash-n-glo. Must have hit us during a dry spell.


So- I'll look into polished steel and... *shrugs* maybe this is the excuse I need for a field trip out to the playa. Set up one of the box's faces and see how it does in the wind and the dust.

If anyone out there has worked with external acrylic mirror on the playa and can save me a trip- please speak up! Otherwise this'll get bumped some weeks hence with the results.


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Token
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ION Storm

Post by Token » Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:05 pm

If the acrylic mirrors are the common aluminized type, you could try Ionization as a method for repelling dust. If you charge the acrylic panels to a high positive state they should repel most of the airborne dust. Same principle as those Ionic Breeze air purifiers.

Two ways to do this:

1. Apply high positive DC voltage to the aluminum already embedded in the acrylic - May be challenging to affix the required wire. You could press fit a bread-board pin into a small pre-drilled hole, but it would likely give a hit-or-miss result.

2. Glue on a 1 inch strip of aluminum foil to the long edge of the acrylic panel then apply a high negative DC voltage to the strip. This will make the acrylic panel into a capacitor and the mirror part will hold the positive charge. Much easier to connect the wires. You could use the self adhesive heating-duct tape for this, run a continuous strip then use alligator clips to connect.

You can drive such a rig with one of the ELWire gizmos since they have a relatively high voltage and limited current. This will ensure no one gets fried. You would have to rectify the AC into DC and bump the voltage up to ~ 3 to 4 KV. That can be done with a string of Walton Cockroft DC voltage doubler bridges using capacitors and diodes. Some assembly required.

Alternatively, you could use sound pressure to periodically shake dust off. A nice sub-woofer in the center of the maze might do it.

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Post by robotland » Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:13 am

Or rags on ropes and signs saying "Would you please dust me off?" might work, too. (YMMV)

I got a pretty nice shine out of aluminum roll flashing, too- I was experimenting with surfaces for a slide and tried aluminum glued and roofingnailed to plywood, and the constant asspolishing kept it so shiny that it was hard to look at...You could certainly run a current through THAT. (Great idea, Token!) Stainless would hold a polish longer, though. Note to self: Bring pieces of polished aluminum to playa, and observe oxidation and dust abrasion. (I always bring piles of aluminum anyway.)
It's slightly wicked, but if you angled the mirror-panels up a bit they'd dazzle the maze participants, adding to the confusion. Or include small "dazzle panels" as supplements.
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Re: Mirrored Art Projects vs. Open Playa

Post by SpookyElectric » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:28 am

A decade later, have there been any rules of thumb worked out for mirrors vs dust?

There are been some shiny metal pieces in recent years, notably from Michael Benisty, that seem to manage to stay shiny. They're too large to be regularly wiped down. And there has been a lot of dusty acrylic. (Or polycarbonate?)

I guess the trick is conductivity? So polished metal wins? (would a Chrome coating have any benefit over any other mirror finish?) Has anyone tried conductive coatings on acrylic mirrors? (Conformal Coating?)

Or has anyone tested the charging approach Token suggested? (I thought EL wire output was AC)

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Quidam
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Re: Mirrored Art Projects vs. Open Playa

Post by Quidam » Mon Apr 05, 2021 8:36 pm

Never got around to the maze, but we've got a mirror mandala made of over fifty convex security mirrors. It's easy enough to just dust it every night as part of our opening routine.

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Re: Mirrored Art Projects vs. Open Playa

Post by BBadger » Mon Apr 05, 2021 11:32 pm

Do phone screens pick up dust? They've got an oleophobic coating on them. Hydrophobic coatings supposedly help with dust too. It may also just be that the surface is just extremely smooth as well..
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Re: Mirrored Art Projects vs. Open Playa

Post by FlyingMonkey » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:21 pm

Holy fuck. I open this thread & the first thing I see is The Couch. These retro thread revivals are bitter sweet.

Who'd a thought that the Playa is still dusty after all these years.

From what I have seen metal seems to be less work keeping clean than other materials. A few years back I was part of an art project that used Mylar mirrors & (while they were in a tent) they were pretty low maintenance. That is counter intuitive to me because I would have thought that would have been a bad choice of materials.

Like anything else on the Playa, prepare for the worst & hope for the best. If being dust free is critical then have a plan A, B & C. Most importantly have reliable people who wont flake on you that are responsible for keeping the dust to a minimum. To be honest I think the weather is the most important factor & that's a crap shoot every time (6 months out anyway). It's been a while since we had rain but that would help (ugh).
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