Tech Art by Rob Gonsalves
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Wave Puppet 2005   
Wave Puppet is an installation translating powerful physical forces to an anthropomorphically comprehensible and safely inanimate form, a collaboration with William Tremblay.
Dimensions: 3 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft
Materials: acrylic, aluminum, steel, EPDM rubber, servo motors, computer, custom software
Wave Puppet is a marionette of the ocean's surface directed by the math that underlies all waves.

Wave Puppet is an open-framed cube containing a flexible sheet suspended horizontally. The sheet hangs from 36 vertical steel rods, evenly spaced in a grid pattern. Each rod is attached to a computer-controlled servo motor through a mechanical linkage. When a motor actuates, the point on the surface of the sheet connected to the rod rises or falls, deforming the sheet. When this motion is coordinated by computer, complex wave patterns are generated, capturing the dynamics of liquid in a purely mechanical form.

Additional complexity arises from the inherent imprecision of the motors, at once enhancing the puppet's similarity to water and calling attention to its simulated nature. A motion detector signals the approach of a viewer, beginning the puppet show.
Wave Puppet was shown at COLLISION:technomorph, Axiom Gallery, Boston, MA, Aug 10 to Nov 08, 2007
Wave Puppet was shown at ArtBots, Saints Michael and John Church, Dublin, Ireland, Jul 15 to Jul 17, 2005
Wave Puppet was shown at Window Collision One, Boston Art Windows, 34 Bromfield Street, Boston, MA, Apr 25 to Jun 12, 2005

© 2005-2008 Rob Gonsalves and William Tremblay