High-tech 3-D Dancing Sculptures

Amara Graps (amara@amara.com)
Thu, 11 Sep 1997 01:04:13 -0800

Hello Extropes,

I promised an art director that I would try to spread the word
about a interesting project that he has created and is now
directing at a small company in Massachusetts. The man's name
is David Durlach and his company is called Technofrolics.

This man is seeking graduate physics, math, engineering, computer science students who might be interesting in doing a thesis with his work
that he calls: "3-D Dancing Sculptures".

His 3-D dancing sculptures are iron dust filings that he controls
via electromagnets, which are, in turn controlled by computer.
His "dust" dances to music.

The kind of work that a potential grad student might do with
his dust sculptures is:

1) Develop an environment in which mappings between information
extracted from the music and dance choreography may be easily tested.
2) Refinine a (virtual) non-linear-oscillator-based beat-tracking
3) Develop real-time software simulations of physical systems to act
as intermediary objects between information extracted from the music and
the control signals sent to the artworks.
4) Explore/develop DSP algorithms and methods helpful in extracting
dance-relevant information from the digitally sampled music.

I may or may not be involved as a kind of advisor in wavelet-related
aspects of the project (we are still discussing this).

His dancing artwork won the Most Popular Invention award at the
Boston Museum of Science and David Durlach has also built a number
of "animated dust" displays for corporations for trade shows.

You can learn more about him and his "dancing dust" by reading
the very nice article in Discover magazine, which can be accessed
on the Web:


My personal opinion is that this project would be fun fun fun, and I
was really tickled to learn about it. It is a blending of physics and art
and entertainment in the best way.


Amara Graps email: amara@amara.com
Computational Physics vita: finger agraps@shell5.ba.best.com
Multiplex Answers URL: http://www.amara.com/