Back to the Drawing Board (2018)


Back to the Drawing Board is an interactive kinetic sculpture that translates the nature of public discourse into an object. The piece invites the public to write or draw on a transparent medium that works its way through a series of rollers to a stack of lenses akin to an overhead projector. The transparency is illuminated and projected through the projector like lenses. The image projected is expanded to an architectural scale, where the messages thereby enlarged then pan across a projection surface. Over the span of the interaction all points on the transparency cycle through the interaction area multiple times, inviting participants to revise and comment on messages left by those before them. Back to the Drawing Board reflects the colorful and discordant ways we interact when given a public forum, while acting as a forum itself.

Back to the Drawing Board is a group effort by Jake Kassen, Phil Knodle and Mac Pierce, and was included in Boston’s own Illuminus Festival for it’s 2018 edition on November 2nd and 3rd. While installed at the festival, thousands of people interacted with the piece and left their mark, as shown in the video above.

Roll of Overhead Transparency, Permanent Marker, Fabricated Mechanical Components, Wooden Structure.

More about Philip: ig - @PKnodle / website -

More about Jake: website -

A full gallery with high-resolution photos can be found [here].

Pertinent blog post with more details of the mechanism and construction can be found [here].

Cover photo by Aram Boghosia

Press about it here - Verge Campus - Seeing the Light: Illuminus 2018