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Art

A Kinetic Sculpture Twists and Morphs Based on the Fibonacci Sequence

July 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Wales-based sculptor Ivan Black creates large-scale kinetic sculptures that are inspired by mathematical formulae and minimal design. One of his latest pieces, Square Wave, is smaller than his typical works and was designed in response to the Fibonacci sequence. The mobile-like object is made up of several metal bands which curve and flatten as the work twists, creating a mesmerizing movement that is at once fluid and strictly geometric.

The sculpture is included in the group exhibition In the Manner of Smoke at Alice Black Gallery in London through July 7, 2018. You can view more of Black’s interactive designs based on mathematical structures on his website and Instagram. (via Design Milk)

“Square Wave,” images via Kinetica Museum

Installation view of Square Wave in the exhibition "In the Manner of Smoke" at Alice Black Gallery

Installation view of Square Wave in the exhibition “In the Manner of Smoke” at Alice Black Gallery

 

 



Art

Plants Respond to Faraway Wind Currents in a Mesmerizing Dance Engineered by David Bowen

June 15, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Guided by the movement of a flower stalk on a breezy day, a field of indoor plants seem to move in a choreographed dance. To create this mesmerizing movement, artist David Bowen installed indoors 126 plant stalks attached to x/y tilting mechanical devices. The indoor devices then jerk and tilt in near perfect synchronicity with an identical plant affixed to an accelerometer, which moves freely outside.

In its most recent iteration, tele-present wind has been installed indoors at Azkuna Zentroa in Bilbao, Spain, and outside at the University of Minnesota’s Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab. As a result, the plants in Spain were responsive to subtle wind current happening over four thousand miles away. The project is on view in Spain until September, 2018. Bowen works with movement and technology in many of his works, including SPACEJUNK, in which fifty twigs point in unison to the direction of the oldest piece of man-made space debris. You can see more from the artist on Instagram and Vimeo. (via Prosthetic Knowledge)

 

 

 



Amazing Animation Music

A Kinetic Block & Marble Track Perfectly Synchronized with Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers”

January 10, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Kinetic artist Mark Robbins of DoodleChaos made waves across the internet a few months ago when he perfectly synced a custom course from the Line Rider game to Edvard Grieg’s Hall of the Mountain King. As astounding as it was to watch the digital game and audio sync up, Robbins took things a step further by making a series of IRL Rube Goldberg-like contraptions with marbles, blocks, and magnets that plays perfectly with Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers. The feat required listening to the waltz hundreds of times which he says resulted in him “going a bit crazy.” If you liked this, also check out YouTube user Kaplamino.

 

 



Design

Floating Cloud: An Electromagnetic Cloud That Hovers on Your Desktop by Richard Clarkson

August 7, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Floating Cloud is the latest “weightless” creation from NYC-based artist and designer Richard Clarkson who has long been fascinated by the shape and form of clouds that he translates into audiovisual devices. The Floating Cloud is held in place by a system of rare earth magnets, electromagnets, and a location sensor that keep the cloud hovering at all times while allowing for full rotation and slight upward and downward motion when touched. It’s also embedded with a number of sound reactive LEDs that flash in response to music or ambient sounds. Learn more here.

 

 



Design Music

Rock Band: An Electromechanical Sound Machine That Makes Music With Rocks

March 15, 2017

Christopher Jobson

A rolling stone gathers no moss as they say, but this collection of stones manipulated by electromechanical devices are capable of performing George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” thanks to artist Neil Mendoza. Titled Rock Band, this kinetic sound art installation is actually four different instruments including a xylophone, a buzzing base, two spinners, and a pair of slappers. Mendoza describes how each device works:

Xylophone: Inside each of the tubes is a small pebble. When the Teensy receives a note for this instrument, it triggers a solenoid (electromagnet), to launch the pebble up a tube and strike a key. For the design of this piece, I wrote a piece of software that calculated the size each key needed to be to produce the appropriate frequency and then cut them out using a water jet cutter.

Bass: This is the small marble circle in the front. When the Teensy receives a note for this one, it causes the plunger of a solenoid (electromagnet) to vibrate at the frequency of the appropriate musical note against the rock.

Spinners: These are the two large objects on either side and are percussive. Inside each of these, there are two magnets attached to each end of a shaft. On the outside, there are two magnetic rocks, Hematite, that are attracted to the magnets on the inside. When a note is received, the shaft spins and one of the rocks is guided away from its magnet and launched through the air. It lands on a piece of marble that has been cut to size to fit in the machine.

Slapper: These slap the rocks with pieces of fake leather and provide some light percussion.

All of the machines were built at Autodesk’s Pier 9 workshop in San Francisco as part of their artist in residence program. You can see more of Mendoza’s mechanical works on his website.

 

 



Animation Art Design

A Giant Illuminated ‘Castle in the Sky’ Ship Built for the Studio Ghibli Exhibition in Tokyo

July 11, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Perched in the sky fifty-two stories above Tokyo, a new exhibition celebrates a 30-year retrospective of Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio famous for anime films like Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Princess Mononoke. The centerpiece of the Studio Ghibli Expo is a room filled with various airships from several Ghibli films, specifically a sizeable illuminated replica of a ship from Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky that rises and falls as if airborne, complete with dozens of whirring propellers. The retrospective also includes original artwork, interactive exhibits, and a small cafe serving 11 dishes inspired by different films. You can additional photos and read more about it on The Creator’s Project and RocketNews24.

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Photo via @Tokyo_Cityview / © Studio Ghibli

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Photo via @Tokyo_Cityview / © Studio Ghibli

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Photo via @Tokyo_Cityview / © Studio Ghibli

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Photo © RocketNews24

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Photo © RocketNews24

 

 



Amazing Design

A Glimpse Inside a Handmade Amusement Park, 40 Years in the Making

June 22, 2016

Christopher Jobson

In the early 1970s a man named Bruno (previously) started building simple rides in a forested area in northern Italy near his family’s restaurant in an attempt to attract customers. Osteria ai Pioppi is now a sprawling complex of nearly 50 rides powered completely by hand with pulleys, bicycle cranks, and gravity, and is now a major destination for locals and tourists to Battaglia. Talk about a novel approach to advertising. Bruno refers to the theme park as an “ecological park” and says he’s often inspired by movements or patterns found in nature which he tries to replicate in his wildly varied rides. This new video from Great Big Story gives us a quick glimpse of the many rides Bruno has built from hand over the last 40 years.

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