I will lead a "sculpture barn raising" at the Stony Brook University
Computer Science Department where we will assemble a large metal
sculpture. The design of the sculpture is indicated in the above
computer rendering. Although it may at first appear rather like a
tangle of worms or spaghetti, it is in fact a highly structured
network. Believe it or not, there are only three shapes of
pieces, and wherever pieces join they meet at 90 degree angles. I
am having the 180 parts laser-cut from aluminum and you can help me put
them together. When assembled, they will form a ball two meters
in diameter, to be hung in the lobby of the Computer Science building.
Addendum: It was a great success. See photos
Friday, December 10, 2004, 3:00
Students, faculty, and all other
members of the Stony
are invited to come and help assemble this sculpture:
I can use any number of assistants in this project. To participate,
come to the Computer Science building lobby friday afternoon. It
will take several hours---I'm not sure how many---so pop in when you
can, starting at 3:00.
I have not settled on a name for this sculpture yet. (Usually I
wait until I see a completed sculpture before firmly naming it.)
my working title is Global Network, because you can see the
parts as forming an intricate network over the surface of a
sphere. An interesting puzzle is to choose any two of the 60
"nodes" and find the shortest path between them following pieces of the
sculpture. Another possible name could be Spaghetti Code. I am
open to suggestions.
To test the assembly concept, I laser-cut wooden parts for a half-scale
model. The image above shows it assembled (hanging temporarily in
my living room).
The parts are made of 1/4 inch baltic birch plywood, with mortise and
tenon joints, pinned together with small wooden wedges. You can
joints and wedges more clearly in a high-resolution
version of the image. (424KB) In the large metal version, there
will be stainless steel cotter pins to lock the tenons. I thank Erik
and Marty Demaine at MIT for kindly letting me use a laser-cutter at
the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory to cut
these wooden parts.
If you lie on the floor of the CS lobby directly under the sculpture
and look up, you will be viewing along a 5-fold axis. You will
see the symmetric view indicated above. There are also five other
places in the lobby where you can stand and see this same view. I
envision it as a fusion of high tech and baroque, of mathematical and
The above image shows a 3-inch diameter model made on a rapid
prototyping machine, laser sintered from nylon powder. I had to
over-thicken the parts a bit to make it sturdy enough to hold together.
So it it a bit chunky and loses some of the design's intended feeling
of lightness but gives a good sense of the intricacy of the structure.
Thank you Jim Quinn for fabricating this delicate model.
If you are curious about my previous sculptures or sculpture barn
raisings, follow these links: