UP TO: Pond machine series


POND MACHINE II

W. Beaty 2003  

Scroll down for photos                Dorkbot page, COCA show

Exhibited:

  • "PDSTWE", Aug-Sep 2003, C.O.C.A. Seattle

    
    NAME OF WORK: 
      Pond Machine II
    
    NAME OF ARTIST:
      William J. Beaty
    
    TYPE:
      Kinetic sculpture; computer/mechanical cellular automaton
    
    DIMENSIONS:
      Wall-mounted, somewhat flat, attaches to a wall at the top, approx
      4ft vertical, 8 ft wide (will be wider if space permits.)  It's heavy,
      so four or more equally-spaced wall brackets at the top will connect to
      its upper rail.  It could easily be held a few inches out from the wall
      if no flat walls exist.
    
    MATERIALS:
      Acrylic mirror strips, pen-motor galvanometers, PC, software, power supply.
    
    INTERACTION:
      Interaction added only if I finish the main work, or added later after
      the opening.  Hidden microphone to detect clapping.  Light sensors along
      the bottom edge to detect visitors walking past.
    
    DESCRIPTION:
    
      POND MACHINE II
      KINETIC SCULPTURE
      COMPUTER, MIRRORS, PEN-MOTOR GALVANOMETERS
    
       A wall-sized plastic mirror. The mirror is divided into 84 thin 
       vertical strips approx. 2" wide, each strip attached at the top to a 
       moving-coil galvanometer (galvo,) and hanging downwards. Each galvo 
       can deflect its mirror-strip slightly, which greatly moves the 
       reflected image. It resembles a mirror transformed into a venetian 
       blind, but with the plastic strips running vertically. When turned off, 
       all the plastic strips are hand-aligned to be flat, so it looks like a 
       large black mirror.
    
       A PC outputs 100 analog channels, one to each galvo, and each galvo 
       deflects its mirror strip. So essentially the computer dynamically 
       sculpts the mirror array into a rippled surface with moving waves by
       independantly controlling each galvo (and each mirror-strip angle). 
       Broad waves and tiny ripples can interpenetrate and march across the 
       array with different speeds and different directions. We can create 
       standing waves;  bathtub-slosh effects or "chop." Invisible winds can 
       blow, riffling the "water surface." The system can simulate a falling 
       stone or a raindrop hitting the "water", and a correct ripple-pattern 
       will spread outwards from a point. (Of course the spreading ripples 
       will be long parallel waves, not the expanding circles of a real pond.)  
    
    
    
    CATALOG ENTRY DESCRIPTION
    
    ...
    
    
    
    BIO
    
    ...
    
    
    
    INSTALLATION
    
      - It's positioned against a wall like a large canvas or any large
        mirror,  with the top edge at approx 6ft above the floor, bottom edge
        at 2ft (and either 7ft wide or 15ft wide depending on space avail.)
        It's attached at the top, with the mirror strips hanging down.  It
        could be within an inch of the wall, but depending on flatness, pipes,
        etc., it could be brought out from the wall by 6in at most.  It needs
        to face a busy area with a scene to reflect.  Mounting it in a hallway
        would only work if the opposite wall was not blank.
    
      - I'm planning on using a row of standard L-shaped shelf brackets
        running along the top of the device and spaced approx every 24in.
        These have 3 wall screws each.  Total weight might approach 70lbs for
        the smaller version.  If the walls are concrete or sheetrock, we could
        screw the brackets to a wooden rail at the top and then figure out how
        to bolt the rail to the gallery wall.
    
      - A (ribbon?) cable runs from the PC to the work.  I can make a very
        long cable if needed.  It could drop down from the ceiling to keep it
        hidden.
    
      - No high power, just a normal PC & small power supply (few hundred watts.)
        No lighting (the mirror just reflects the scene in the gallery.)
    
    
    

    Closeup of galvo array
    
    

    Gallery opening, COCA Seattle, August 3, 2003
    
    

    Links to similar projects

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    http://amasci.com/art/pondmach/pond1.html
    Created and maintained by Bill Beaty. Mail me at: .