2011 Unruh


Blown Glass, Ferrofluids, SLS 3D print, Magnets, Aluminum CNC frame, electrical motor
100 x 100 x 100 cm

Collaborators: Jane Prophet & Victor Leung

The title of the artwork, Unruh, is referencing the history, the mechanical device nature, as it refers to the German word “Unrest” but is as well a technical term for the balance in each mechanical watch, providing the kinetic energy to propel the mechanics. The work has three main components, each relating to an idea of making and a medium of complexity and control. First, the work is propelled primarily by an engine that drives a belt, introducing a motion in one axis to the work. It is a linear movement, a source of energy induced into an otherwise stable system, in balance. Second, the main body of the work is balanced by two-axis, suspended within a gyroscope-like structure. Introducing the energy, through shifting the first axis, results in an imbalance that, through the second axis is continuously rebalanced resulting in a sudden shift of the work.

Both are visible and reacting to re-stabilizing a system within the context of gravity, forming homeostasis within the shifting system. The third, is a system of spherical magnets, moving within a series of hollowed, tendril-like 3D printed black structures. The magnetic forces are invisible, however, the continuous shifting magnetic field augments the main gravitation-based system through the visible shift in the ferrofluids, contained within the glass central body. The delay of forces exchange between the rotation and the viscosity of the liquids creates a further imbalance of the system – leading to an entropic state of the work. The work is placed within the context of a kinetic balancing of energies within a growing entropic state, caused by shifting magnetic forces and centers of gravity.

Each of the systems becomes amalgamated within a simulation and exchange of force, set in the distinct media. The work is strongly set within the emerging discipline of Digital Craftmanship where the precise 3D printed elements, made using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) can be read as techne, which, for Heidegger, does not describe Technik (technology), but constitutes the “bringing-forth of the true into the beautiful”, allowing the auto-poiesis of the liquids to react and form second-order cycles of feedback between systems – articulating energy exchange in cybernetic cycles, extending the basic definition of ‘how to’ into the genetics of the making, and the formal reaction of itself.