Petroglyphomat, messages on stones


Our ephemeral daily communications have probably inspired Lorenz Potthast to build “Petroglyphomat“, a sort of rudimentary milling machine that can ‘draw’ on resistant materials, driven by a matrix of pixels. Petroglyphomat was created with the specific purpose of creating a communication channel with the future, as the author argues in the book that accompanies his work. Easily transportable as a common backpack, “Petroglyphomat” works very simply: after you set it vertically onto the wall, you can choose an icon from the screen. Thanks to an Arduino controller, the machine now starts ‘writing’ on the stone, transforming the iconographic symbols into modern digital petroglyphs. The ideal locations for these engravings are places that resist the passing of time, such as huge buildings or monuments built in the past. The symbols used for the engravings have the potential to go beyond the context of their current linguistic signification, such as a mail symbol or a hand shape. Thanks to Petroglyphomat, these carved icons of our modernity, embedded in the ancient immutable physicality of stone, are delivered right to the future like a reassuring piece of imperishable memory, in spite of the dematerialised communication complexity characterising our contemporary information landscape. Chiara Ciociola


Communication With The Future – the petroglyphomat