Friday, October 07, 2016

"Sisyphus" Kinetic Sand Art

I've seen a few sites linking to this amazing creation by Bruce Shapiro that integrates art & technology in a mesmerizing way.

The installation is called "Sisyphus". It is named after the Greek myth of the tortured soul who is forced to roll a boulder up a mountain each day, only to have it continuously roll back down to the bottom.

Sisyphus consists of a metal ball that guided through a surface covered in sand, presumably using computer-guided magnets underneath the table.

Watching this system in action brings to mind the quote by Arthur C. Clarke, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

It is a modern take on the Zen art of rock & sand gardens, with similarly profound meditative qualities.

It is also reminiscent of Tibetan sand mandalas, which are intricate spiritual designs made of colored sand. These creations are ritually swept up & the sand dispersed after they are finished, to symbolize the impermanent nature of existence.

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