Connect, a kinetik sculpture which models chaos


Connect is a kinetic sculpture which models chaos with oscillating spheres of steel. The artwork, created by German Andreas Muxel, produces complex behaviour, although its structure and rules are very simple. It consists of 13 modules made of a microcontroller, a stepper motor and a steel ball connected with a rubber band. Each module includes a piezo sensor which activates the oscillation. The physical impulse is carried by two magnets. Thanks to the magnetism this carrier attaches to one of the spheres. When two spheres are attached they behave like a double pendulum with chaotic motion. If both connected elements start swinging in a disharmonic way, one connection will break because of the conflicting forces generated. Therefore the sculpture builds its own motion patterns and structures. As a result the progress is non-linear and unpredictable by the viewer. The artwork has been shortlisted for Torino Share Prize 2009. But why has a Kinetic Sculpture has been selected for a prize tied to new media and digital technologies? Historically Kinetic art redefined the language of movement, exploring the rich but largely uncharted territory of relative motion, space and time, invisible energies and cosmic dimensions. Digital art found its way in this field of investigation as well, mainly through generative code artworks. An artwork like Connect, atypically analogical, goes beyond the limits of generative and interactive aesthetics, to expand the boundaries of digital art and culture.

Valentina Culatti