Renowned kinetic sculptor Reuben Heday Margolin, of Berkeley, California, makes art that moves. His work ranges from mechanical butterflies made from rickshaws and bamboo, to digital and cam-driven caterpillars, to a soda fountain of 400 recycled aluminum cans and pulleys, to a pedal-powered park. Even Margolin's drawings show figures in movement.
Among Margolin's most recent and intriguing installations are his series titled Waves, which encompass everything from "simple" suspended rings that move up and down and from side to side (Yellow Rings) to a system of 500 pulleys and cable (Double Raindrop) that elegantly portrays "the interference caused by two raindrops landing near each other in water".
Margolin's installations are not only brilliantly conceived and realized; they're breathtaking to behold, and often they'll leave you in awe as you watch them twist, turn, sway, rise and fall. Below are videos of two of Margolin's complex creations. The first, Neko's Nebula (2009) is made of 8,000 plastic beads, wire, string, wood, and an electric motor. Margolin describes the 14-foot-tall sculpture as his "first experiment with a wave traveling in a Yin Yang pattern, as well as my first try at a hollow multi-tiered structure." (Images are here.) The second video depicts Magic Wave (2008), which Margolin and collaborators at Technorama structured from an aluminum grid suspended by 256 cables and overhead mechanics requiring 3,000 pulleys, 5 kilometers of steel cable, and 9 motors. (Images are here.) The sculpture illustrates three characteristics of waves: wavelength, amplitude, and frequency.
Take the few minutes necessary to view these videos and you'll understand why I've selected Margolin as today's Wednesday Wonder.