marc Ganzglass
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INCIDENT No.70: Marc Ganzglass, Decoiler/Recoiler



A two-channel video produced at White Star Steel, a sheet metal processing plant in Houston, Texas. 
Color, stereo, SD video from HD, 2012

White Star is a just in time supplier of coil slitting and cut to length material for manufacturers in the central United States. The services provided by White Star take place in-between the material futures market, in which raw materials are bought and sold and the end user market in finished consumer goods. They’re the intermediary, producing pre-dimensioned metal goods in coil or sheet, which then go on to OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) where they are turned into finished parts or products.

These videos were produced on a Brainer Pull Through Slitter, a machine that takes a coil of sheet metal up to 60” in diameter and weighing more than 30,000 pounds and pulls it through a series of rotary shears, slitting it into strips of dimensioned material. This cut material is then recoiled on the other end of the line and shipped to the client. 

Decoiler/Recoiler takes place at either end of this slitting line. Working with Tim Johnson, Joe Pharr and Leroy Swayzer at White Star, we loaded a 60” coil of 14 gauge steel on the slitting line and painted a large yellow circle on the end of the coil, facing the first camera. The circle was painted by hand and was off center and oval. The sheet metal was then fed along a drag board tensioner, through a looping pit, which takes up slack in the ribbon, through the slitter and then wound around the recoiler mandrel at the other end of the plant. The second camera faced the recoiler at this far end of the line. As the coil unwound the circle became fragmented line segments on the thin edge of the sheet metal. On the recoiler, as the coil is rewound the line segments are reconstituted, what were the exterior layers of the original coil become the interior layers of the rewound coil and the circle is transcoded. In this reshuffling, the hand drawn inaccurate version is averaged out and clarified into a perfect if hazy circle. 

An earlier test version can be seen in a video posted here

Special thanks to Tim, Kathy and Okey Johnson, Joe Pharr, Leroy Swayzer and White Star Steel. More information on their company can be found 
Tim Johnson is also the driving force behind Marfa Book Co. and Reading Room Marfa. 
More information on these institutions can be found here: