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IRON GENIE is a harmonograph - an interactive kinetic sculpture driven by pendulum movements. A rotary pendulum set on a gimbal drives the drawing platform, and two lateral pendula connect to the drawing stylus. The drawings it creates are expressions of the combined frequencies at which the pendula move.
The period of each pendulum can be adjusted by raising or lowering the weights, and the pendulum movements are arbitrarily initiated by the hand of the human operator, thus offering the potential for an infinite variety of drawings, none of which can be predicted.
The solid corporality of this analogue machine and the percievable workings of its kinetic energy offers a direct invitation to experience its science and material beauty through hands-on interaction.
BACKGROUND: Prototypes of this concept were invented at the beginning of the nineteenth century, when the development of industrial mechanization heralded a surge of technological and scientific invention. As such, it was contemporary with a range of inventions that have shaped our world today, such as the difference engine of Charles Babbage, the precursor of the modern-day computer.
Today, saturated as we are with the ephemeral intangibility of virtual objects and digital functions, there is a resurgence of interest in the ingenious contraptions of pre-digital eras, and in the processes of hand-craftsmanship and engagement with materials.
For dimensions and specifications see Design and Production