Seaman’s Yarn

The motivation to build an artefact that floats on the water during the Robotics Workshop was given by Time’s Up location in the harbor of Linz—or more precisely in the harbor basin. Time’s Up kitchen shows various pictures of a nautical nature and a look out of the workshop shows the not sunken part of a wrecked ship—the connotation of mysterious tale’s only a seaman would tell you is always present.


«Seaman’s Yarn» is an expression that exists in german, as well (Seemannsgarn), and is still in use in northern Germany. A comprehensive definition/explanation can be found here. The project tries to manifest in a very abstract way the idea of somebody—or something—that «sets sail» and is off to the sea and tells us its stories when back in the harbor.

The first part was the construction of a buoy that would carry the documenting, creating part of the installation. With the need of movement followed the construction of a Savonius-Rotor on top of it, inspired by the already existing one in front of the workshop and by the connotation of sailing that comes up with something catching the wind. The rotation moves a pen over the postcard that will tell us later about the adventures at sea.


Special thanks to Micha Dienst who was a great help in this project—specially with the construction and explanation of the principle of the Savonius-Rotor.

The postcard—the Seaman’s Yarn—of the very first and only journey:

Seaman’s Yarn—created during Robotics Workshop at Laboratory “Time’s Up”, Linz

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