O’Neill was inspired by the papers written by his students. He began to work out the details of a program to build self-supporting space habitats in free space.Among the details was how to provide the inhabitants of a space colony with an Earth-like environment. His students had designed giant pressurized structures, spun up to approximate Earth gravity by centrifugal force . With the population of the colony living on the inner surface of a sphere or cylinder, these structures resembled “inside-out planets”. He found that pairing counter-rotating cylinders would eliminate the need to spin them using rockets.This configuration has since been known as the O’Neill cylinder.
The shimmering pulse
The installation consists of 451 independent modules arranged in a form of hexagon – each module reacts to light it receives by spinning iridescent disc that spreads out thanks to centrifugal force, creating a unique kinetic “physical pixel”. That field of shimmering pixels is combined with light projection mapped onto the installation surface to visualize real-time data of the traffic in the Shenzhen area – the hexagon is divided into sections corresponding the 9 city districts. As a result the public can observe and interact with the object that represents the pulse of life of the city in an artful and unexpected way.
The installation reflektor distortion – conceived as a rotating, water-filled basin – is inspired by the shape of a parabolic mirror that ‚rotates‘ water via centrifugal force. The work consists of the three main components mirror, reflection and distortion. Both curve and distortion of the water surface is affected by speed and integrated resistors that generate a permanently new and re-organizing mirror reflection. The water surface will be supplementary distorted via speaker by resonating low sound frequencies. The function of the mirror is hereby eminent: The mirror surface is the medium that reveals reality as distorted reflection. Rising the question of the observed and the real image the installation plays with the artist’s thesis that we all have a permanent distorted perception of reality.
The CMS consists of an industrial robot arm with six independent axes, extended with an L-shaped cabin axis. The seventh axis allows for varying the orientation of the cabin with respect to the robot arm by changing the location of the cabin’s attachment point from behind the seat to under the seat, or any intermediate position. Recently, the CMS has been further extended with a linear axis of ten meters. The resulting eight degrees-of-freedom (DOF) provide an exceptionally large workspace. Several extreme motions and positions can be achieved, such as large lateral/longitudinal motions, sustained centrifugal motions, infinite head-centered rotation, and up-side-down motions.
Suspended from automated grids, more than 400 pendulums are activated to initiate a sweeping 15 part counterpoint of tempi, spacial juxtaposition and gradients of centrifugal force which offers the spectator a constantly morphing labyrinth of significant complexity. The spectators
are free to attempt a navigation this statistically unpredictable environment, but are requested to avoid coming in contact with any of the swinging pendulums. This task, which automatically initiates and alerts the spectators innate predictive faculties, produces a lively choreography of manifold and intricate avoidance strategies.