This clockwork orrery continues my fascination in generating complex patterns with simple mechanisms in this piece developed for the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford.
Like my Plaiting Machine this piece is driven by gravity and escaped through a flying pendulum which slowly turns three planetary bodies. As each planet's orbit completes it strikes a Tibetan singing bowl resulting in a meditative, methodical but apparently random phased performance.
The site where it was exhibited holds a large number of fascinating mechanical items which are usually static or behind glass to preserve them. My intention was to breathe life into these artefacts and use the history of the space as a context for this work, i.e. the crossover between astrology and astronomy. However this contextual information was omitted from the exhibition as I prefer people to take their own meaning and I develop work from their reaction. And naturally, being LEGO, you don't want to take it too seriously!
Children and adults both often spent a lot of time with this machine, just taking it in, which was a pleasure to see.
Music of the Gears was exhibited between the 27th September and 2nd October as part of the museum's 'Eccentricity' exhibit. It was developed as part of the Brookes final year MA festival 'In With Between' which brought together a great range of work spanning sonic art, video, social sculpture, music, photography and storytelling. For more information please see our website at inwithbetween.blogspot.com.
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