|W. Beaty 2007|
See photos below
William J. BeatyTYPE:
Kinetic sculpture; hand-cranked hyperbola/circle shutter-slot deviceDIMENSIONS:
Wall-mounted, somewhat flat, attaches to a wall at the top, approx 5ft vertical, 5 ft wide, 8in thick, power supplies inside.MATERIALS:
Motorized disk w/slip-ring assembly, wood enclosure, Acrylic sheets, tesla coils, green gas-discharge tubes, DC power supply
The disks spin fast, but the glowing lines move only slowly. One black 4-ft disk rotates continuously via a motor hub. This disk has numerous long narrow CCFL tubes mounted on its surface and forming radial glowing lines. For safety the motorized disk is behind an acrylic window. A second 4-ft disk is mounted in front of the first one upon horizontal rails. The second disk is opaque black with transparent radial lines, and can be spun by the gallery visitor as well as slid from side to side. (See diagram below.) Depending on which way they spin, the two disks create a dynamically moving pattern of curved "field lines" around two attracting or repelling poles. If both disks spin at the same rate, this pattern's motion halts.
As with a painting, it's wall mounted at approximately waist height. It requires a 120Vac outlet of only a couple of amps. The fluorescent tubes peek out through the moving slots, so the dynamic glow effects will be not be visible in a brightly lit gallery. They won't need an entirely dark room, but also it cannot be placed next to white walls with intense floodlights.
This work touches on the interaction of discovery and ridicule, the mutual annihilation of creativity with scoffing, and it symbolizes a major branch point in our space-time world-line. For his proposing that invisible electric and magnetic fields exist, Michael Faraday drew scorn and derision at the hands of the scientific community of the time. And then he died. Yet his idea escaped suppression by hostile disbelief. Very fortunately James Clerk Maxwell wrote an extensive report which convinced the rest of the world to take Faraday's bizarre idea seriously. This soon led to electrical engineering, radio, and Einstein's relativity. Yet by such a narrow margin Faraday's idea could have been easily lost; that road not taken. Consider how many other ideas as important as Faraday's *were* lost; were never supported, and were swallowed and cancelled out by active forces of anti-creativity, leaving no trace.
CRUDE PROTOTYPE: 1-ft motorized disks with backlight
DISKS ROTATING TOGETHER. If the centers of the disks are
moved together and overlap, the glowing lines collapse to a point
and vanish. Note that in the finished piece, opaque sheets will
surround each disk, leaving only a black background with bright glowing lines.
DISKS ROTATING OPPOSITE. The disks move fast, but the glowing lines
move slow, and whenever the disks spin at the same speed, the glowing
lines stop moving entirely. If the centers of the disks overlap, then
the number of glowing lines is doubled, and a single radial pattern