The series "Seismoscopes" consists of devices that detect vibration around them, from footsteps to earthquakes, and record this vibration on paper using an automated XY-plotter. As each Seismoscope registers any seismic wave it is programmed to draw an illustration of a single Skeptical philosopher, over and over again. The first Seismoscope, for example, always draws the portrait of Portuguese philosopher Francisco Sanches, author of the seminal treatise "That Nothing is Known". The actual traces of the drawing follow a random path, although staying within the portrait image that has been burned into the memory of the device, --thus, every drawing is different. The artwork is the device itself not the drawings it makes: the collector or curator may give these drawings away, they may exhibit them as a pile on the floor or hang them neatly on the walls.

This is the preliminary list of Seismoscopes to date:

Seismoscope 1: Francisco Sanches. Portuguese (1550-1623), author of "That Nothing is Known".

Seismoscope 2: Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali. Persian (1058-1111), author of "The Incoherence of Philosophers".

Seismoscope 3: Sextus Empiricus. Greek (160-210), author of "Against the Mathematicians".

Seismoscope 4: David Hume. Scotish (1711-1776), author of "An Enquiry concerning human understanding".

Seismoscope 5: Pyrrho of Elis. Greek (360-270 BC), proponent of Acatalepsy (impossibility of comprehending a thing).

Seismoscope 6: Nicolas Malebranche. French (1638-1715), dedicated his work to refute Cartesians.

Seismoscope 7: Juan Huarte de San Juan. Spanish (1529-1588), author of "Examen de ingenios para las ciencias".

Seismoscope 8: Baruch Spinoza. Dutch (1632-1677), vehement attacker of superstition.

There will be approx 20 Seismoscopes in total.

General info

Spanish name:
Year of creation:
modified XY Plotter, vibration sensor, ipod, paper, stainless stand
each XY Plotter measures 41 x 45 x 17 cm and sits on a podium that measures 115 x 41 x 45 cm. Each drawing measures 11x17 in.
8 copies + 0 AP copy



  • Stephan Schulz - Hardware and programming
  • Pierre Fournier - Metal stand
  • David Lemieux, Karine Charbonneau - Production support


  • "Rafael Lozano-Hemmer PG", Prepared Guitar, Madrid, Spain, January 13th 2015 (english). Text of 43 pages. (Website)
  • Davis, Ben, "Light Touch", Artnet, New York City, New York, United States, October 23rd 2009 (english). Text of 4 pages. (Website)