These works are investigations into kinetic sculptures that unpredictably change form in real time. Perception of positive and negative sculptural space is modulated by the tensioning and release of forces within a series of double wound springs manufactured on a custom-built CNC winding machine to maximise their morphological variability so that it brims with latent unpredictability. These springs have been designed to contain a huge amount of potential energy within - even when they are at rest. This raised potential causes an amplification of the agency by which the springs seek solutions to externally applied forces. Various electromechanically driven spindles and mechanisms apply torsional energy to the materials/system to chaotify it and drive it towards myriad unbalanced moments, spawning unpredictable complexity manifest as the ongoing generation, regeneration and degeneration of form within the visual mass.
The springs, that comprise the mass of the sculpture provide a way of locating the flexural characteristics of the piano wire along a path that unfolds multi-dimensionally so that the form of each spring distributes the potential for movement in all directions as it reacts to applied torsion. When unconstrained and unfettered by our tendency to control their function, springs will behave according to the morphology they are given and will perform this with a propensity for visually histrionic and unpredictable motion that seems to be alive. This propensity is determined to a large degree by the way potential tensions within the piano wire “invent” motion as a result of torsional energy distributed along the spring, forcing various parts of the spring to react against one another, as internal masses move collide hook and unhook themselves within the body of the work.
In the process of conceiving how springs will behave, their ability to react to applied stresses can be predicted as loosely defined material inclinations, peppered with unpredictability and surprise! So in this regard, my driving intention for this design- research is to infuse the spring system – that which will comprise the positive space of my developing sculptural form - with stresses that will energize tipping points of reactive motion within individual springs, each of which, in turn, will transmit motion/energy throughout the greater mass of springs. In this way, the natural behavior of each spring (and societies of springs) can be mobilized so that the system can celebrate a real-time propensity for movement in all dimensions allowing the springs to stretch, snap back, squirm, rotate and perform their natural serpentine virtuosity that demonstrates forward moving and reactive material sentience. This is turn determines the meta behavior of the shape shifting form of positive sculptural volume that is the mass of springs – a kinetic shape shifting sculptural form that reinvents itself based upon its own internal and infinitely complex material calculation.
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