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Getting a revolutionary new toy design into open source production, and using the design to create the worlds longest marble run.
Created by

walter mason

95 backers pledged $8,306 to help bring this project to life.

new video footage

i finally managed to finish a video!!  there is another one in the works that involves my other marble run.  i will post a link as soon as i'm finished with that one.

This is a marble run that I built for the science museum phaeno's kugelbahnen exhibition in wolfsburg.  I called it "inclination", because they said I had to give it a name, and because I built it on an inclination.  here's a link to the museum's page about the exhibition; http://www.phaeno.de/kugelbahnen.html

What they wanted from me was that I integrate my marble run into the museum (which is an absolutely fantastic piece of work by Zaha Hadid) as much as possible, and because of that I decided to let the ping pong balls rolling on the chute  roll off the chute, bounce off the incline and back onto the chute again on three different occasions, as can be seen in the video.  It wasn't easy, and I had major issues with the hanging of the marble run because I used fishing string -against my better judgement- to hang it, and the ajustable attachments I used to hang the chute kept readjusting themselves long after the marble run was finished, so that gave me lots of grief, but I learnt alot, what more can you ask?

the best part about hanging my marble run in wolfsburg was getting to know the other guys building up their marble runs, or sometimes just getting to know their marble runs.  here's a link to a german tv channel where they talk about the exhibit; http://www.hannover.1730sat1.de/aktuell.html?&cHash=5b9211202780965504e04c1b589b2563&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=14&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=86064

now, regarding the other artists i met;

mark bishof was there most of the time i was there, and his markokosmos basically stole the show; http://youtu.be/KRfdxQtIwUM  then there was a very cool minimalistic work called  "Odyssey of the spheres"  by george rhoads;  http://youtu.be/qN2ya48C6Lo in high contrast to everything else was the work of pierre andres who was an influential french artist who died about six months ago.  his work is very rough -it looks almost like it was taken straight out of an ethnological museum, and the fact that he always used wood, and that he always made his work to be interacted with, was a lovely contrast to the polished/painted metal, which is favored most as a material for rolling ball machines.  on the opening night, i met his grandson, who told me a good anecdote that his grandfather used to tell; during an exhibition years ago, he had seen an old lady push a child away from one of his marble runs so she could use it herself http://pierre.andres.pagesperso-orange.fr/pierre.andres/index.html also a good friend of mark bischof, hans martin wagner was there for a couple of days, installing a huge new interactive piece of his 4 meters which used snooker balls; http://www.kugelbahn.ch/steeple.htm

my favorite was the superplexus, by michael mcguiness; http://youtu.be/9wohFfpLU7s i had trouble concentrating on building my own marble chute once the superplexus arrived, i was always wandering over to try just another round with the superplexus.  last but not least, i had a very enjoyable time getting to know the sonic artist rory buckley. regardless of how much time i spend in germany, regardless of how fluent i become in the laguage, i miss my own language, and people whose own language it also is.  i just hope i didn't scare rory by being too garrulous.  here's his website; http://theshortwave.blogspot.com/

Comments

    1. Creator Adam Stauffer on April 27, 2012

      Walter I received my first set and it is really lovely!

    2. Creator AndreasH on March 12, 2012

      Wow! Looks like I have to go to Wolfsburg this summer.

    3. Creator walter mason on March 12, 2012

      i have really no idea, pedro. there were two tracks, separate, but interwoven, and each of them must be about 60 - 80 meters long.

    4. Creator Pedro Philippi on March 12, 2012

      how long it is?