Fly Revolver is an installation work by the Artist David Bowen. By specialised the activities of the collection of houseflies, the device controls a revolver which blurs the boundary between the real and the perceived. The flies live inside an acrylic sphere with a target backdrop. As the flies move and interact inside their home, they fly in front of and land on the target. The device responds to their position, pointing the Revolver in space or the observer.The movements are processed with custom software and output to a robotic device that aims the revolver in real-time based on the flies’ relative location on the target. When a single fly is detected the revolver just follows the movement of that fly. If several flies are in the field of view, the software moves the revolver based on the activities of the collective. If a fly is detected in the center of the target, the trigger of the revolver is pulled. In this way, the flies are essentially the brain of the device controlling the revolver by determining where it is aimed and when it is fired.
Halo is a kinetic, wind-activated sculpture designed by the artists Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford, installed in the Chippendale Green of Chippendale and Sydney of New South Wales. The sculpture has a 13-meter high mast leaning at an angle, a 6 meter long cantilevered arm attached to the pole, and a 12-meter diameter carbon fiber ring that pivots upon the arm. The “halo”(the arm and the ring) rotates on a tilted axis in response to the wind. Although the sculpture seemed to be moving effortlessly in the wind, it was not necessarily an easy creation. The design of Halo was assisted by a large team of engineers with expertise in carbon, mechanical, wind, and structural engineering. The project took three years to complete and required extensive research and design variations. Turpin describes Halo as “an extraordinary integration of art, science, and engineering, acting in collaboration with the natural environment.”
Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist; he is recognised by his stunning Strandbeest, the kinetic sculptures able to move on their own. The name of Strandbeest came from Dutch, which strand refers to beach and beest means beast. Jansen’s kinetic sculpture are intended to blur the line between art and engineering, which he believed that “The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds.” Jansen suggested that his Strandbeest is a new kind of artificial life. These creatures constructed from PVP piping, wood, and fabric airfoils were gradually “evolved” into more intelligent species. As in some degree, they now are able to react to their environment: “over time, these skeletons have become increasingly better at surviving the elements such as storms and water, and eventually I want to put these animals out in herds on the beaches so that they will live their lives.” And the creations are also able to store air pressure and use it to drive themselves in the absence of wind. Jansen’s more sophisticated creations are able to detect once they have entered water and walk away from it, and one model is capable of anchoring itself to the earth if it senses a storm approaching.
Bowen, D.(2013). Fly Revolver[online] Available at: http://www.dwbowen.com/fly-revolver [Accessed 28th October 2016].
Cermak Peterka Petersen. (n.d.) Sydney’s Wind-Responsive Halo Sculpture CPP Provides Wind Expertise for Iconic Public Art [online] Available at: http://www.cppwind.com/portfolio/sydney-halo-sculpture [Accessed 28th October 2016].
City of Chicago. (2016). Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen [online] Available at: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/strandbeest.html [Accessed 28th October 2016].
Composites Australia.(n.d.) Halo: The Art of Composites [online] Available at: http://www.compositesaustralia.com.au/about_composites_australia/australian-composite-company-case-studies/halo/ [Accessed 28th October 2016].
Jansen, B.(2014). “Animaris Geneticus Parvus”, Rapid Prototyping Journal, 20(4), pp. 311 – 319.
Jansen, T.(2007). My creations, a new form of life[online] Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/theo_jansen_creates_new_creatures/transcript?language=en [Accessed 28th October 2016].
Visnjic, F.(2013). Fly Revolver – Blurring boundaries between real and perceived [online] Available at: http://www.creativeapplications.net/environment/fly-revolver-blurring-boundaries-between-real-and-perceived/ [Accessed 28th October 2016].