COLLISIONcollective

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*                        For engineers that moonlight as artists and artists that moonlight as engineers                                         *
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Tyvek Dolphin Lantern

tyvek, LED strip, brass fasteners, brass and paracord hanger
2013
Tyvek Dolphin Lantern

This piece is a four foot long dolphin, built from algorithmically generated folded tyvek cells. The cells are laser cut individually and assembled using split-pin brass fasteners. (Tyvek is a paperlike material made from polyethylene fibers. It’s waterproof, with incredible tensile strength. It also diffuses light beautifully). The resulting sculpture is lit from within by an RGB LED strip. This allows the lantern to glow in any color or shade, to match the mood of the gallery. It can also be programmed to oscillate between colors.

The Looking Glass; Contracted & Expanding

Brass & Copper plate, wood, latex paint, nails (fasteners), Blackberry Playbook tablet computers
2012
The Looking Glass; Contracted & Expanding
The Looking Glass; Contracted & Expanding
The Looking Glass; Contracted & Expanding @COLLSION18:present

The Looking Glass; Contracted & Expanding attempts to function as a critical cross-section of contemporary portraiture and the portrayal of identity within the modern age.  Founded upon the premise of the video blog as being the most modern form of portraiture, the piece seeks to investigate socio-cultural differences between past and present and how such differences have been articulated through new-media portraits.  For starters, the video blog portrait, due to its ubiquitous nature and limitless accessibility, actively challenges our conceptions of subjective and collective significance that predecessor media had established over the centuries.  Essentially, the piece asks whether or not the power of canonization innate to the practice of portraiture has been reduced or expanded by new media.

Formally, the objective with the piece is to expose the widening rift between this form of contemporary portraiture and its roots in commemorative portraiture by contextualizing selected video blog portraits within an archaic and somewhat ironic realm of tribute.  The piece itself consists of five wooden handmade frames (12.5”x10”) that have been coated in etched copper and brass plates.  The plates have been acid etched using a process similar to most methods of circuit board etching, thereby uniting the materials’ connection to contemporary practices of fabrication.  The etchings themselves depict classical framing iconography derived from pre-photographic eras wherein the subject of a (painted) portrait was intended to have commemorative or honorary value; an aspect that seems to have been perverted or at the very least watered down by this new method of portrait making.  Moreover, the etched framing iconography subtly morphs into arguably more familiar icons that traditionally decorate circuit boards.

Housed inside of the frames are tablet computers that play looped animations ranging from eight seconds in length to forty two seconds.  Four of the animations (subjects) are hand-drawn portraits of randomly selected video-bloggers from YouTube.  The stills reflect a disparity between the identity projected from a video and that of the identity projected by a two-dimensional portrait, and yet candid shreds of the subject’s honesty and vulnerability shine through the abstracted stills.  A single subject is not animated, but instead she remains a single screenshot that attempts to articulate the minute and rare beauty privy to this select medium of portraiture; all the while referencing the medium of photographic portraiture that exists somewhere between a hand fabricated portrait and a video portrait.  Altogether, as each ‘portrait’ plays endlessly, ones eyes are fervently pulled in every direction as the viewer attempts to simultaneously digest each of the portraits.  This particular action replicates the sensation of binging on Internet personalities and identities, leaving one commonly feeling over-stimulated and under-impressed by the individuals featured therein.

Divining Rods for a Technologically Advanced Civilization

brass and steel
2011
Artwork by [user-name]

Here I propose an update to the traditional method of divining with a “Y” or “L” rod. Fractal element design antennas have found application in cellular telephony and microwave communications. These fractal element design divining rods utilize bends based on a space-filling curve called a Minkowski Island, named after the mathematician Hermann Minkowski, who helped build the mathematical foundation for the theory of relativity.

Though the exact mechanism behind what has variously been called “divining,” “doodlebugging, “dowsing,” and “water witching” remains unclear, many mechanistic explanations have been proposed. In his book “The Illusion of Conscious Will” the psychologist Daniel Wegner proposes that the mechanism underlying the persuasive psychological effect of divining is similar to other “automatisms” such as the Ouija board, and operates on the “principle of movement confusion,” leading the dowser to misattribute their own involuntary movement to outside agency.

In addition to space optimizing bends, the fractal element design divining rods presented here are carefully balanced and designed with sensitive swivel handles to produce a compelling effect.

Solar Flowers

Aluminum, Brass, Steel, Rosewood, solar engine
2010
Artwork by [user-name]

I think of Sculptural Robotics first and foremost as a synthetic discipline. It's a way to explore the world around me, and it's also a delightful waste of time. My machines are designed according to a conceptual aesthetic that emphasizes minimalist design elements. I prototype and test my designs just like any roboticist, but unlike most I am not intersted in finding solutions to practical problems. Instead, I'm more interested in finding designs that produce flowing, graceful movement, and that are increasingly autonomous in control and energy acquisition, generation after generation.

Spring

Wood, aluminum, Formica, Garolite, brass, mechanical components, motor
Artwork by [user-name]

Originally inspired by looking at ferns on a walk in the woods, "Spring" is a mechanical abstraction of the same unfurling action that occurs in fiddleheads. The title is a double-entendre referring also to the coiled spring-like shape that the sculpture assumes. In fact, in an earlier version of this piece, there was a coiled spring incorporated into the mechanism.
Spring is the time of year most associated with hope and ebullience of spirit. I wanted to tap into that spirit and create a piece that embodies the gesture of reaching toward the light, in the sense of both offering and receiving. In the calculation of the relationships in the spiral the "golden ratio" was used, resulting in a spiral that is found in many natural forms as they grow. I believe that what in mathematical terms expresses balance and efficiency, by moral extension and cultural expression becomes the universal golden rule of human behavior. Spring is the part of us that aspires to unfold the golden rule in our interpersonal relationships and which is embodied in the gesture of reaching outward toward each other and upward against the drag of negative social pressures.
Ultimately, Spring is forward looking, but acknowledges the cyclical nature of optimism. It is also meant to remind us that optimism and patience go together.

Annosphere

Mahogany, brass, handmade paper, LED, electric motor
2009
Artwork by [user-name]

The annosphere is a tabletop model, designed in the style of a 19th century scientific instrument, that demonstrates the planet's daily and seasonal changes in sunlight.
With the annosphere, you can see why our days are long in the summer and short in the winter. The annosphere can be adjusted to show the changing sunlight everywhere from the north pole, where a day lasts for six months, to the equator, where day and night are equal throughout the year.
The annosphere is also a timepiece, like a sundial, telling time with a moving shadow . Unlike a sundial, the annosphere can be speeded up, showing a day's changes in sunlight in just four minutes.

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