Day/Time: Saturday and Sunday
Location: Fiesta HallIn preparation for a large-scale installation at the Science Center of Iowa scheduled for this summer, I have built a number of prototypes of a device I call Ribbon Dancer. This thing is jaw-droppingly beautiful in action.
Related site: http://www.taomc.com/art_machines/ribbondancer.htm
I began playing with stepper motors and connecting them to PC’s about 17 years ago. It took me several months just to find out how to hook the things up and to write a simple program to control them. When I showed off my great achievement (two motors sitting on a desktop, moving under program control) to friends and family, everyone was sure I had gone off the deep end. The “so what?” vibe was loud and clear. Realizing that I needed a quick way to assure them that I was not insane, I came up with a project to “help” my kids with their Easter egg coloring: the first Eggbot (a plotter for eggs). Since then, I have been building larger and more complicated motion control devices as public artworks which have been installed in U.S. science centers (including the Exploratorium) as well as in Europe. And the Eggbot has become the DIY project I have used to teach youths at the Science Museum of Minnesota over the past six years.