Breaking Wave is an anamorphic kinetic sculpture created for Biogen-Idec’s new headquarters in Cambridge, MA by Plebian Design and Hypersonic.
A motor drives a large rotating stainless steel cam. 36 rollers follow the contour of the cam, which traces out the overall waveform. Each roller slides on a linear track, pulling a cable that spins one of the 36 output shafts each connected to a drum that suspends the wooden spheres. I enjoy the delicate nature of the suspended orbs despite the intense mechanical system driving the movement shown in the video. The technique of using distinctive elements that work together to create one fluid movement could be explored further for a wearable sculptural piece.
Radiant Soil by Philip Beesley was developed as part of his immersive installation series called the Hyozolic series which aims to research and develop metabolic architecture systems. Tall plant-like clouds of glass, polymers and metals are suspended from the ceiling and track the motion of the viewers to trigger specific responses.
“Touching one of its plume-like branches, for instance, elicits a vibration that slowly contracts and expands the frond, as a soft air stream runs through its “pores”. Arrays of LED lights, meanwhile, flash and ripple with the movements of a viewer, and scent glands emit “musky, ginger-like” odors that, like a flower, lure people in as they draw near. An Arduino circuit board ties everything together, recording and looping the various actions to create a “store of memory,” like a very primordial brain.” The movement of the palm fronds is a great example of an actuator with a string controlled by an Arduino that could be transformed into something for the body.
Denizen of the Deep is a 2013 sculpture piece by Bob Potts, an artist dedicated to understanding and recreating the natural rhythmic movements of birds and oars of boats. He perfects a visual grace in the movements while using an extremely mechanical aesthetic. I like how the rotary movements in this piece specifically allow for offset movements of the metal fans and in turn make the sculpture seem alive. I believe using interlocking rotations on a smaller scale could allow for a similar type of gentle movement to be executed as part of a wearable piece perhaps around the upper body and arm area to symbolize wings.
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