Motion as form

I wanted to produce formless pieces whose movement defines them.   Without noise or moving parts they would be natural beings moving of their own volition.   The concept opens the door to behavioral sculpture where the piece decides what it wants to do, never appearing the same.   This had not yet been done in kinetic art.

Challenges

Easy to do on a screen but not in real life.   Nature's organic, silent motion is notoriously difficult to replicate in robotics.   Jerky, noisy mechanisms are easy to implement off the shelf, but this vision had to go to the next level.   It took 3 years of fulltime research and many failures to develop muscular systems that move silently and smoothly without moving parts as in nature.

How does it move?

The newest actuator technologies from aerospace and medicine are blended to create reliable muscles that do what the sculpture's brain instructs.   Advances in materials science allow movement without moving parts - reliably and controllably.

Dielectric elastomers are treated polymer materials that respond to electrical signals.   Used mostly in satellites and research laboratories, they are difficult to make but create smooth movement.   The result is a naturally-moving muscle that can move up to a million cycles.   Many of these are built into the sculpture's length.

Why does it move?

There is no pre-programmed formula or sequence.   Like an animal in nature the sculpture decides what it wants to do and when.

After a muscle moves the sculpture decides if it would like to move, what muscles to move, when to move, and for how long.   Never does the sculpture repeat itself; it is constantly exploring new movements.

Is it difficult to install?

No - the sculpture is self-contained and light. No outside equipment or special mounting are required. Animatronics must be ultra-lightweight for longevity, low noise and ease of movement. Aerospace composites like Carbon fiber and Delrin keep weight extremely low - typically only a few pounds.

This extremely light weight makes transportation and installation no more difficult and costly than a tradtional lightweight mobile.

A DC power supply is included. A cord similar to your phone charger runs to the sculpture like any other 12v appliance. Power consumption relates to size but generally doesn't exceed 1000 watts.

When will pieces be available?

I expect to begin taking orders in Fall 2019. Price ranges $2500 - $20,000.

About the artist