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*                        For engineers that moonlight as artists and artists that moonlight as engineers                                         *
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Pulse Machine

Kick drum, solenoid, flip digit numerals, Arduino microcontroller, mixed media
Pulse Machine

This electromechanical sculpture was “born” inNashville, Tennessee on 2 June 2012. It has beenprogrammed to have the average human lifespanof babies born in Tennessee on that same day:approximately 78 years. The kick drum beats itspulse, and the mechanical counter displays thenumber of heartbeats remaining in its lifetime. Aninternal, battery-operated clock keeps track of thepassing time when the sculpture is unplugged. Thesculpture will “die” when the counter reaches zero.

The Big Dripper

eight oscillating pumps, tubing, sink, wood, steel, UV LEDs, Arduino Pro microcontrollers, electronics, water, fluorescein dye
Artwork by [user-name]

The Big Dripper is a concept based on Harold Edgerton's Piddler. Edgerton's Piddler, also known as a "Time Fountain", uses a stroboscopic light source to highlight individual drops of water in a constant stream of liquid. With the strobe off, the stream looks like a solid cylinder of falling water. With the strobe on, and correctly synchronized with the actuation of the pump, the individual drips of water that compose the stream are exposed. The drips appear to hang in space as if frozen in time. By modulating the phase relationship between the frequency of the pump and the frequency of the strobe, the device can generate optical illusions of motion. For example, the individual drops can appear to fall slowly, or even crawl upwards.

The Big Dripper was featured on Hack A Day!

The Zoeusel

Mixed media controlled by an Arduino microcontroller
Artwork by [user-name]

In recent years my major area of scholarly study has been the origins of film in the “age of wonder” and specifically the motion studies of the 19th century photographer Eadweard Muybridge. One of the extraordinary things about the technological revolution that
occurred at that time is that so much of the technology that was created was both wondrous and understandable. In Zoeusel I have used modern technology to recreate that sense of wonder wall basing the project on the easily understandable principal of persistence of vision. My intention is to first amaze and delight my audience and second to allow them the rare, in contemporary times, pleasure of coming to understand for themselves the underlying principal employed.
The magic of the carousel horses coming to life is achieved by breaking the motion of a galloping horse down into twelve recurring steps and then recreating those steps as twelve sculptors on the carousel. When a patron spins the carousel it cases a small strobe light to flash in precise coordination with the passage of the horses. Thus the faster you spin the carousel the faster the strobe light flashes. The affect is to present the twelve steps of the gallop individually to our brains and in raped succession. Because each step of the gallop persists in our vision in till the strobe flashes again and presents us with the next step of the gallop we see one horse galloping instead of 12 horses spinning.
The horses on the Zoeusel are modeled directly on the successive still photographs of a horse in motion taken by Edweard Muybridge in the 1880s as part of his motion studies. The original photographs are reproduced as a film on a monitor which is built into The Zoeusel. Each time the strobe light flashes a new frame in the film is presented on the monitor. This elegantly demonstrates the role of persistence of vision in film.
As an artist what I enjoy is that all of this is much more easily and enjoyably understood by playing with the Zoeusel then by describing it in words. Furthermore even without understanding of the underlying principle there is still persistence of magic.

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