Earthquake Art

The Quakescape 3D Fabricator was created in response to the Christchurch earthquakes by Kiwi designer James Boock. The device takes earthquake data and transfers it into art by using a scaled down landscape of Christchurch as a “blank canvas” and extrudes paint onto the exact location of the earthquake tremors – transforming the data into functional art. Check the vid after the jump to see it in action!

The device works by taking earthquake data from the site Geo-net ( and transfers it into the medium of art by using paint and Arduino technology. The surface that the paint is applied to is a CNC-routed landscape of Christchurch, New Zealand. This acts as the blank canvas and allows the paint to move around the landscape creating an amazingly vibrant visual. Each color represent the various magnitudes of the tremors and is run on two horizontal axis by stepper motors powered by G-code generated through Arduino. This allows the nozzle head to be moved to the precise location of the earthquake. Once the location is determined the pigment is then pumped from the containers through the tubes and extruded out the nozzle. This is the moment where precise magnitudinal data is converted into an art-form.

Designer: James Boock with Josh Newsome-White, Brooke Bowers, Hannah Warren, George Redmond, Richie Stewart and Philippa Shipley

Quakescape 3D Fabricator from Oliver Ellmers on Vimeo.