Eggsistential Angst, avoiding the countdown


Eggsistential Angst is a work by Neil Mendoza, defined by the artist as “an investigation into balance and survival as an egg and a pendulum weave a never-ending dance”. In the installation, a large, metal pendulum hangs with its constant and growing swing. When the momentum reaches a power such as to transform the oscillation in a complete rotation, a reaction wheel (one of those also used for driving a satellite’s movement) on the end of the pendulum becomes active. Driven by a servomotor, this wheel reverses the direction of the rocking motion, causing the complete rotation of the pendulum in the opposite direction. This continuous and seemingly harmless movement occurs near an egg, placed on a slim and slender pedestal, which elegantly dodges all the pendulum swings with gracious but snappy shifts. Engines, Arduino boards and two additional “stepper” motors ensure perfect interaction between the two elements. If in the “Pala di Brera” by Piero della Francesca, the egg hangs from the sky as a symbol of protection and fertility, in this work the egg (literally) reverses its position; it has always been a sign of birth, protection and life, but the egg in “Eggsistential Angst” is a symbol of vulnerability, constantly threatened by the unfolding beats of the pendulum, like a slow and ineffable countdown from which it is difficult to escape. Chiara Ciociola


Neil Mendoza – Eggsistential Angst