Thursday, October 11, 2012

ISEA2012 Main Exhibition: The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is hosting a small, satellite exhibition component of the ISEA2012 main exhibition. If you've been to both the Albuquerque Museum and 516 ARTS already and are looking to explore more of the ISEA2012 exhibition venues, be sure and stop by. It's a win/win visit: Bruce Shapiro's piece alone is worth the visit, but you can also scope the dinosaurs, volcano and cave.

Electronic dinosaurs! (not part of the ISEA exhibition though)

Claudia Cumbie-Jones and Lance Ford-Jones' piece,  Cosmix Dome, an immersive environment of video and sound. 

Artist Bruce Shapiro putting the finishing touches on Sisyphus VI, a kinetic sculpture that control the path of a large ball bearing as it rolls through a field of sand, leaving dunes in its wake.


Check out the great video that put together a while back about at Bruce's work.
At the heart of Sisyphus is a custom designed CNC machine (Computer Numeric Control).  It is built from the same components used in industrial automation and robotics.  Two servo motors-- one responsible for angle around the sand field, the other for distance from the center-- are controlled by a computer program that governs the motion of a magnet pulling the ball along paths which have been saved in a "playlist."  Completed paths are "erased" by an Archimedes' (evenly spaced) spiral. There are about 12 different patterns in the current playlist.  Most are variations on a spiral theme, but not all.  Like a musical instrument and the potential number of songs which can be played upon it, Sisyphus can "play" an unlimited number of paths--  their design limited only by the "song" writer's imagination.

More information about Sisyphus, and software and hardware techniques involved in motion control art can be found at The Art of Motion Control--
The beginning of the fractal stage...

Albuquerque artist Daniel Richmond's installation looking at the history of UNM's Lobo mascot. The Mexican Grey Wolf specimen dates back to the early '40s and resides in the collection at the Museum of Southwestern Biology at UNM.

The original Lobo mascot posing with the UNM Football team (above) when it was alive.
Wolf trap
The fourth project was faced with some insurmountable technical difficulties, but was nevertheless a very interesting project by DPrime Research. Anybody catch their workshop on bioluminescence? If you were lucky enough to catch their demo during the opening reception Sept. 20th, you got to see some crystal formation first hand. Read more about Biopoiesis and check out the video below to see what we missed out on:

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