I was a tad confused at first, because to me “kinetic sculpture” refers to those systems where balls are continually moving about on various tracks in a closed system. But these are rather nice, too.
I haven’t done much fist-shaking from the porch recently, but here’s to changing that. Today’s curmudgeonly two-fer have one thing in common: overselling the product, in a way. The thing is, I don’t think they need the false advertising, whether it’s on purpose or owing to some comprehension gap. Ignore the rant if you wish, and just enjoy the technology/math-based artistry of these pieces.
These 3d-printed zoetrope sculptures were designed by John Edmark, and they only animate when filmed under a strobe light or with the help of a camera with an extremely short shutter speed.
… just like any other object would. Maybe it’s just me, but this sounds like the author is implying this is special to this particular class of structures — it’s not. That’s just how the strobe effect works.
These are wonderful. But having a few gears doesn’t turn it in to a Rube Goldberg device; it’s not just a matter of being slightly more complex than it needs to be — in this case, mostly by adding one layer of complexity. There are no chain reactions and no diversity of mechanism, two hallmarks of such devices.
The [2D] swings combine with each other to create swirling designs called Lissajous figures.
The patterns are so stunning that machines like Blackburn’s Y-shaped pendulum were made commercially in the Victorian era. They became known as “harmonographs”, since the variation in images results from the variation in harmonies between the different swings.
I want a doctor to take your picture
So I can look at you from inside as well
Laurin Döpfner … used an industrial sander to grind down logs, electronics, and even a skull in thin layers which he then photographed to create this amazing stop motion video. Each object is comprised of about 100 different photos
I like the walnut the best, I think.
It can be pretty awesome when these two get together.
There’s a video in the link with the art, which is a weird combination of kinetic sculpture and optical effects from polarizers. You don’t discern the actual motion of the polarizers, but you see a motional effect from the overlap. Sort of an opto-kinetic sculpture.
Polarizers are pieces of plastic made to only allow (or disallow) the transmission of light with certain polarizations. Natural light has a mixture of all different polarizations of light, and so any one of these polarizers only filters out a portion of the light. However, if you stack two with complementary polarizations, such as one that blocks about 50% of light and another that blocks the other 50% of light, then you end up with a totally opaque whole.
To quote a phrase: that’s not how this works! That’s not how any of this works! Simple filters don’t add linearly (they multiply — two simple 50% filters would block 75% of the light), and polarizers don’t block half each. What’s actually going on is that one polarizer sets the polarization of the light (filtering the fraction that is cross-polarized), and then the second one blocks more light, both acting according to the Law of Malus
\(I=I_0 \cos^2 \theta\)
All the light is blocked for perpendicular orientations of the polarizers, and at varying levels of light at other angles. Randomly polarized light isn’t blocked by 50% — the transmitted intensity is roughly 75%. You can see single polarizers in the video, and tell they aren’t blocked by half.
The second piece is in color but only has a still shot, so I don’t know if this is color filters or polarization with birefringent materials. I’ve posted static shots of birefringent materials before, both using a static linearly polarized source (LCD); having the background and/or foreground polarization and birefringent material move might make for an interesting display.
I really like this, because it quite clearly shows something I’ve observed before: If it looks nice but doesn’t work, then it’s not good design.