New Year, New Media: 4 Sketches for Final Project

It's day one of the semester and my New Media class has begun, (actually I'm typing this on day 5, but let's ignore that) and we are already assigned with a project, the final project. To begin, we must come up with 4 ideas and 4 sketches of these ideas, that we would present to a curator for a commission (not really, but imagine).

The best part of beginning a new project is creating a list of so many ideas, and 98% of them being awful. One idea leads to a better one, and eventually you come up with some great things. I am still iffy (is that a real word?) on some of these ideas but I'm also really excited about a couple...

Idea 1: Motorized Hands

Last year, I took a 3D Art class and one of the projects was to create a performative object. I immediately thought of too many ideas concerning motors and the like, having absolutely no idea how to do any of that. I improvised and created something related, but more interactive with the audience with magnets. One idea is to expand back on this project, with more knowledge on motors.

There are a few variations, but overall the idea is to have hands moving in and out of a black stretchy material. These hands would be made out of plaster, using a mold of my own hands.

This sketch shows the hands coming out in one direction, but possible options are to have this as a wall, a doorway, or maybe a rectangular or cylindrical room that the viewer would walk in.

The thing I haven't decided for this idea, is how I want the hands to begin to move. Either by randomized motor movements, or to be triggered by the viewer, like placing your hand on something.

Concerns So Far:

- Plaster is awful to work with

- Would have to make many molds

- How to have the hands be motorized

Idea 2: Shape Shifting Box

Inspiration from this came from the Shashibo Shape Shifting Box, essentially a box that can be transformed into 70 shapes through magnets. I believe the box is made up of triangles with the magnets within them. I wanted to create a version of this, but have yet to figure out how the shapes actually move. So I expanded a bit, and thought of a box made of just rectangular shapes.

I am imagining these shapes to expand from the center and move in a continual motion around each other into other shapes. I am having some difficulty imagining this one too.

This sketch was just showing the rectangular shapes within the box, although to actually make this work, the shapes may have to change placement/size. I believe it would be easier to visualize as a 3D model.

Update: Just this morning, I saw more about the Shashibo Box. The box is made out of 12 equal irregular tetrahedra.

Idea 3: UV Diode and Glow Tracing Screen

I admit I don't know completely how I want this want to work, but I really want it to. I'm interested in physics and the idea of chaos, so the inspiration for this idea was right up my alley thanks to PhysicsFun.

Essentially a UV diode is attached to the end of a double pendulum, creating chaotic movement that is then shown through a glow tracing screen.

There's many things I thought of doing after seeing this.

One of them, is to just make this set up, but bigger. I would have a big glow tracer screen, and behind it, multiple double pendulums, possibly motorized or started by the audience.

Other possible ideas instead of pendulums:

- Create a specific picture or "painting" onto the screen

- Another randomized motorized element

- A symmetric motorized element


- How big of a screen is possible?

Idea 4: Kaleidocycle

This one was my favorite for a while, and I think it still is, in slight competition with Idea 3. A kaleidocycle is normally an origami model, but I want to motorize it. I've always been interested in geometry and that is what first drew me to this piece. A kaleidocycle is made up of 6 tetrahedra that continually turn into each other in a ring axis. There can be kaleidocyles made with more than 6 tetrahedra (as long as it's an even number), but 6 is the lowest and creates no gap in the center of the ring.

A sketch for this idea is simply what the kaleidocycle looks like folded:

To help visualize how this would move, here's an origami version from We're Calling Shenanigans:

The net of a kaleidocycle is shown below in another sketch:

Each shade represents a different "side" to the kaleidocycle. Each edge of each tetrahedra would essentially have a hinge on it to allow it to move.

I went through many ideas of how I wanted the sides of my kaleidocycle to look. Here's a list:

- Mirrors (normal, colored, or infinity)

- Clear or Colored Acrylic

- Actual painted design

- More of a 3D aspect (may have issues with moving)

- Screens (pretty sure this wouldn't be possible considering they're triangles)

At the moment, I am very much leaning towards using mirrors.


- How to make it move? Internal motors (but then could it hang up?) or possibly hung up with wires that move to lift the edges up.

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