I , II, and III -- sand plotting:
During the spring of 1998, as part of a collaboration
with Jean-Pierre Hebert called "Ho," the idea for sand plotting
emerged from our numerous experiments with motion control. The name
"Sisyphus" occurred to me while watching the first sand paths
being slowly and methodically created, only to be erased and redone.
I designed and built two first-generation machines, giving one to Jean-Pierre
as a gift.
While the two Sisyphus I's were XY devices, covering about
30" x 30" of plotable territory, I created Sisyphus II for
a public art competition (organized by Forecast
Public Artworks, and hosted at the Science Museum of Minnesota)
in the summer of 1999. This second generation device uses polar geometry
to cover a circular area with a diameter of 5 feet.
Sisyphus II now works continuously, in the Science Museum
of Minnesota's Learning
Technology Center. Recent work has enabled children to create designs
(using Microworlds software)
and then save them as paths for Sisyphus to plot.
Sisyphus III was installed at
Technorama, The Swiss
Science Center, near Zurich, in Sept. 2003. It is 10 feet in diameter
and weighs about 1,000 lbs.
Images of Sisyphus I and its development:
early dune patterns,
Images of Sisyphus II and its development: