"A Chaotic Affair" is a piece about chaos, set to be placed in a beautiful location on the open playa of Burning Man, which has given partial funding to this project. Chaotic systems appear in many parts of our natural world including planetary orbits, turbulent fluids, and certain fractals. Chaos can be characterized. We can say how chaotic a system may be, yet we cannot predict chaotic movement. It borders the edge of our understanding of the physical world: we are able see the limits of our scientific abilities.
"A Chaotic Affair" is a literal platform to explore and engage with a chaotic system. It consists of a 30’ pendulum, suspended by a steel pyramidal tripod. As one approaches, colorful paint suggests play, while the gentle ambling of the rigid pendulum inspires curiosity. The pendulum has a magnet attached to its base, capable of pulling 500 pounds. Similar magnets are laid across the ground, and the pendulum bounces, turns, slows, and slingshots while navigating that magnetic field. There are 14 magnets in this piece. Collectively, they could lift a large SUV with your entire family inside. Pushing the pendulum increases its chaotic movements, further engaging the audience. A platform at the base of the pendulum can be mounted and ridden as a carnival ride, allowing for the direct experience of chaos.
While one can play with the pendulum solo, it encourages participants to engage as a group. Games are created spontaneously, where they try to hit every magnet once in a single swing, or get the pendulum to trace out a perfect square. Without prompting, the innate curiosity we possess finds its outlet and experimentation begins.
Risks and challenges
As this piece is going to Burning Man, it will be finished and ready to be displayed by the end of August. As with all these large scale projects there are bound to be mishaps, mix-ups, and mess-ups. However, whether it be a mismeasured piece of steel, an adjustment of anchor points, or a long and tedious design of a component; I whole heartedly believe that the drive for a polished and functional piece will provide the tenacity needed for a successful completion by the deadline. There are still details to work out: how to place padding on necessary areas, painting, mounting procedures, et cetera; but I already have completed a detailed schematic, parts list, and schedule which should accommodate enough time for the unforeseen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)