Meter Stick to Measure a Moment in Time
(28 January 2020, 50°58’33 N 11°19’44° E)
74 x 24.5 x 0.2 cm
Using photogrammetry, I scanned a crumpled-up, one-square-meter piece of paper and reconstituted it as a 3D digital image. After recording the unique shape of the crumpled paper, I extracted a cross-section of a single line from its contorted surface – the length of one meter. This line provided the high-resolution zigzagging edge with which to design a unique meter stick.
Afterwards, as soon as I moved the piece of paper, it changed shape, and the form was lost. As a result, the meter stick, which has been designed to measure the surface roughness of that specific piece of paper, measures that single moment in time instead: Like a plaster cast, it captured the crumpled paper’s form. Once that original source of the form was lost, the ruler itself was rendered useless as a measuring tool. Now no surface exists that would fit the particular zigzag of its line again.