All posts by artandtech

Robot Swarm at MoMath – The Museum of Mathematics (New York City)

Exhibit opened on December 14, 2014

Don’t miss the public debut of Robot Swarm, MoMath’s new blockbuster exhibit. Interact with two dozen small, glowing robots who react to your presence and communicate with each other, chasing after you or zooming away as you move across the floor. With cutting-edge new developments in motion control and positioning systems, this is the most ambitious robotics exhibit in the nation. Discover why swarm technology is one of the most exciting fields of robotics, as simple mathematical rules bring these robots to life!

http://momath.org/home/robot-swarm/

Bentley Snowflake Museum (Jericho, Vermont)

Ever wonder who took the first photos of snowflakes?

From the earliest memories of our childhood, many of us can remember hearing the phrase “no two snowflakes are alike”. This discovery was made in the small rural town of Jericho, Vermont by Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931).

snowflakes

A self educated farmer, Bentley attracted world attention with his pioneering work in the area of photomicrography, most notably his extensive work with snow crystals (commonly known as snowflakes). By adapting a microscope to a bellows camera, and years of trial and error, he became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in 1885.

He would go on to capture more than 5000 snowflakes during his lifetime, not finding any two alike. His snow crystal photomicrographs were acquired by colleges and universities throughout the world and he published many articles for magazines and journals including, Scientific American and National Geographic.

In 1931 his book “Snow Crystals”, containing more than 2400 snow crystal images, was published by McGraw-Hill but has long been out of print. A soft cover copy, identical in all respects, can be obtained today from Dover Publications, Inc.. On December 23, 1931, Bentley died at the family farmhouse in Jericho. Because of his wonderful work with snow crystals, he became affectionately known as “Snowflake” Bentley.

For more information and directions to the museum:
http://snowflakebentley.com/index.htm

Images of Discovery at MIT Museum (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Opens February 15, 2015 at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Photographers, image makers, and innovators Felice Frankel, Harold “Doc” Edgerton, and Berenice Abbott are featured in this new exhibition at the MIT Museum. While working at MIT, each photographer explored a range of scientific questions.

By using strobes, magnification, and other light-capturing strategies, they reveal their curiosity about the natural world and how it works. Visitors will learn more about using photography to examine the unknown through their exposure to these fascinating photographers.

http://web.mit.edu/museum/exhibitions/imagesofdiscovery.html

The Jeweled Net: Views of Contemporary Holography at MIT Museum (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

The MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts is one of the best places in the world to see holograms. Most of what they have (including works from the New York Museum of Holography before it closed) is not on view. What you see on exhibit though makes you wish for an entire museum again!

Over 20 holograms created by international artists, as well as several from the MIT Museum collections, will be on display in the MIT Museum’s holography gallery.

The exhibition presents a rare opportunity to view selected works from the world-wide community of practicing display holographers. The MIT Museum holds the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of holograms and regularly invites artists to showcase new work at the Museum.

http://web.mit.edu/museum/exhibitions/holography.html

http://web.mit.edu/museum/collections/holography.html

Eric Staller’s SpiroGyrate in Terminal 3 at San Francisco Airport (SFO)

Commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission, SpiroGyrate is an interactive children’s play area in Terminal 3 of San Francisco International Airport.

Twelve 56″ (142 cm) spirals mesh and seemingly propel one another like so many gears, in an installation that begins on the floor and moves up the wall. Each of these spirals is laser-cut acrylic and each of them is motorized to move clockwise and counter-clockwise in a slow and hypnotic fashion. The piece is interactive, beginning with the viewer’s ability to walk and stand on the spirals, which are under heavy glass plates. Motion sensors respond to people walking over the glass circles and activate color changes in the back-lit spirals.

Fabrication: Rocket Science;interactivity consultant: Tobias Grosse-Puppendahl, Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD

http://ericstaller.com/commissioned%20work/SPIROGYRATE/

Sweepers Clock by Maarten Baas (San Francisco)

Is on display at The Exploratorium in San Francisco, California.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/arts/works/sweepers-clock

Maarten Baas combines theater, art, film, and design in Sweeper’s Clock to make a 12-hour-long movie in which two performers replicate an analog clock by sweeping two piles of garbage (one for the hour hand, one for the minute hand) to indicate the time.

http://www.maartenbaas.com/

Sweeper Clock by Maarten Baas from Dezeen on Vimeo.

Maillardet’s Automaton 1800 “Draughtsman-Writer” (Philadelphia)

It is currently on display at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s too fragile to operate so videos near the exhibit show it in action.

https://www.fi.edu/history-automaton

This Automaton, known as the “Draughtsman-Writer” was built by Henri Maillardet, a Swiss mechanician of the 18th century who worked in London producing clocks and other mechanisms. It is believed that Maillardet built this extraordinary Automaton around 1800 and it has the largest “memory” of any such machine ever constructed—four drawings and three poems (two in French and one in English).

Automata, such as Maillardet’s Automaton, demonstrated mankind’s efforts to imitate life by mechanical means—and are fascinating examples of the intersection of art and science.

The Silver Swan 1773 Automaton at The Bowes Museum (England)

http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk/Collections/ExploreTheCollection/TheSilverSwan.aspx

The swan is life-size and is controlled by three separate clockwork mechanisms. The Silver Swan rests on a stream made of twisted glass rods interspersed with silver fish. When the mechanism is wound up, the glass rods rotate, the music begins, and the Swan twists its head to the left and right and appears to preen its back. It then appears to sight a fish in the water below and bends down to catch it, which it then swallows as the music stops and it resumes its upright position.

You can see the Swan in action every afternoon at 2.00. This performance lasts approximately 40 seconds.

The Museum is in the picturesque market town of Barnard Castle, County Durham situated in the heart of the Pennines in North East England.