Pendulight (2019)

Interactive installation.

In collaboration with Anna Tol and Jeannette Shijie Ma.

PENDULIGHT is an interactive media installation pulling the legs of physics. Draw a pattern of light on the canvas, by interacting with the sensors to manipulate the pendulum's swing.

A pendulum's swing creates beautiful geometric spiralling patterns. What if we can play with this a little? What if we can create are own patterns, by changing the course of the pendulum's swing?

This installation contains a pendulum of a large marble in a net attached to an invisible string. A small UV LED light forms its tip, that draws patterns on a large glow-in-the-dark canvas.

Attached to the rope of the pendulum, are three strings that each lead to an arm of a servo-motor, placed on a triangular frame. The servo-motors are connected, via Arduinos, to a corresponding ultra sonic sensors that are activated when someone comes close by enough (distance measurement).

The result: when they pick up proximity of a person, the three sensors signal to their connected servo-motors. The servo-motors then swing their arm outwards, pulling the string in the same direction, and subsequently will pull the rope of the pendulum into another course.

This way, the eventual light drawing on the canvas is created by the people walking around the installation. Their interaction with the sensors decides when and which servo motors pull the pendulum, and can thus change its path accordingly.

Disclaimer: Wrecking ball effect can be achieved. In case, approach at own risk.

Software: Arduino IDE

Hardware: Arduinos, servo-motors, ultra sonic sensors (HC SR04), UV LED light, Stainless Thin Conductive Thread, wiring, power bank. Isosceles triangular wooden frame (1 m), mounted to ceiling. Fabric, velcro, laces.

Exhibited at:

Processing Community Day at Open COOP, Amsterdam (2019)