After practicing medicine for several years, scientist and artist Bruce Shapiro become obsessed with the art of motion control. He was so impessed with the infinite possibilites of designs and images that could be created via computer programs. With awesome visual installations at science centers throughout the world, he has used art to turn science into something everyone can appreciate. The Sisyphus Machine is his take on a modern Zen Garden. Appopriately named after Sisyphus, who in Greek mythology received the punishment of pushing a huge boulder up a hill for all of eternity, the kinetic drawing machine uses magnets to push a steel ball through sand, leaving behind beautiful mandala-like patterns.
The Sisyphus models featured here have diameters of up to 9 feet, but Shapiro is working on creating a tabletop version. If you’re interested in owning one, sign up here to be placed on his mailing list and check out the prototypes. To see more ways that Shapiro has used motion control as a medium for artistic expression, check out his website.