Flying Carpets and Related Ideas

I have seen the work of these artists around vimeo before, and their sculptures are always seamless and breathtaking. There is a mystical harmony between the reflective light, music, and wavelike motions. This documentary describes the artsts’ inspirations and process pretty well, and shows their different variations in the sculpture. Their blog and videos didn’t say much about how their sculptures were implemented, but there was one comment that said each string-bound obeject was controlled by a stepper motor, and that the movements were coded in hardware (I’m not too sure what that means).

I’ve wanted to do a ceiling-type installation for a while, and I am extremely intrigued by the idea of making a sculpture that looks like it is floating. I imagine the challenge would be to get all the stepper motors to work at the same time and coordinate a sinusoidal motion. Even better, it would be cool if they were arranged in an array to look like a levitating mesh (flying carpet). But I realize this project needs to be scaled down, so I will just think about how to get all those stepper motors working. I would need a bigger power source for sure, as well as a shift register or something to get them to be programmed in the same way. I also am not that great at synchronizing the visual with music, so I think it would be cool for the movement to correspond to a sensor measurement.

I’ve seen a lot of drawing bots during my research, and I think this is a pretty interesting one because it is not a bot, really. It is controlled by motors reeling the string. This would be an interesting way of transforming a sensor measurement into a visual. Again, this would involve a lot of calculations between stepper motors, which would prove an interesting challenge.

This piece is really charming because it gives life to these typically inanimate objects and hides the mechanism behind its operation, which makes it quite mysterious. The artist uses a Lilypad and a servo for each book. It would be very interesting to take at least two inanimate objects and have them be able to communicate in a cute and humorous way. There method of communication would be through motors and maybe sound or light, and they would either have a sensor to interact, or maybe they could be connected through the internet. The idea would be that they have a story to tell together, and the viewers can watch or participate to figure it out. As for the actual objects, they could be salt and pepper shakers (Blue’s Clues anyone?), newspapers, rocks, water bottles, or generally anything that can conceal an arduino.


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