This work was created by David Bowen over a course of a few days which involved a drone running ArduPilot software; it hovered 30 meters above Lake Superior and captured still images of the water’s surface. The surface ripples changed every time the weather was different and Bowen captured these images and converted them into three-dimensional displacement maps. The information was carved with a CNC router into a series of transparent acrylic cylinders.

David Bowen was influenced by the relationship between natural and mechanical systems: he had other projects that related to this topic. His previous project, Underwater, was a large scale, real-time installation that captured the surface of waves through hundreds of servo-motors. I believe he was inspired by the topic and his previous works that made him continue his research and thus create another work. Through his projects, he wanted to “provide an immersive mechanical perspective of a natural, dynamic and ageless phenomenon.”

In my previous Looking Outwards assignments, I researched a couple that were similar to this topic. I am very fascinated by the idea of nature coming together with technology to create beautiful pieces. It was very intriguing that he used clear acrylic to cut this out because it displays the delicacy of the water through the material: it captures the beauty of nature in a man made work. However, he only made 5 of these cylinders and I wish he made a room filled with them to display the vast scale of a ocean/lake. Overall, I am very interested in CNC routers because I am an art student and I am working as a monitor to help out with students to use CMU’s CNC router in Doherty Hall. I’ve actually created works with the machine before and will keep working to create more meaningful art!

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