Jen Smoose

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Concerning the Rotation of Earth, 2011

silver gelatin photogram, 20" x 24"

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A Foucault’s Pendulum is a way to show the rotation of the Earth. The pendulum swings back and forth as the earth rotates beneath it, leaving a circular path on the floor. The pendulum swings, the Earth rotates, a record is made, but it’s a temporary one. As the pendulum continues to swing and the Earth continues to rotate, the previous day’s record (rotation) is replaced by a new one. I wanted to make each record permanent; each hour of rotation would mark my photographic paper with light. Do these marks prove the earth rotates?

A simple device to show a complex concept, difficult to see, you have to infer it. To get a full rotation in 24 hours, you must be at the North or South Pole. Here in Chicago, you get about 305º of rotation. A simple way of making images and a simple device to prove (once again) the Earth rotates.

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