Home Chapter 10 Artist's inventor applications of servo motors
Artist's inventor applications of servo motors


Jeremy Boyle “Gravity” 2002 LCD screen, motor, microcomputer, VCD recording and player 4 h x 6 x 2 1/2 inches This video piece consists of a small LCD screen mounted to a small
motor. A motor rotates an LCD screen in semi-circular arcs, first clockwise and then reverse to counterclockwise

 

Gravity  by Jeremy Boyle. 2002.  4 h x 6 x 2 1/2 inches

 

Playing on the LCD screen a video of horizon line of the water tilting from left to right. Boyle created this by rotating the video camera left to right when the video was made. The motor moves accurately under the control of a basic stamp and its resulting movement cancels the tilt in the horizon line of the video, thus leaving the surface of the water to always remain horizontal. The two images show the video and motor at different moments of equal though opposite rotation.

 

Gravity  by Jeremy Boyle. 2002.  4 h x 6 x 2 1/2 inches

 

Artist Jessica Miller created an experimental musical sculpture entitled Aquasiter. The work used five servomotors, a special servomotor controller, and an active infrared sensor. When the viewer placed their hand underneath the work, they were able to control the movement of the individual servomotors as they struck the glass elements filled with water.

 

 Aquasiter by Jessica Miller, 2002. Photo Amy Youngs.

 

By filling the glasses with varying amounts of water, Miller was able to allow different pitches of sound to exist, and the interaction prompted the participants to compose their own sound sequences.

Miller’s piece is part of a large community of artist/inventors creating experimental make-your-own/play-your-own, musical instruments. The sculptural qualities and interactive aspects of this sound piece were an important part of its success.

A key resource for anyone interested in creating experimental musical instruments is Bart Hopkin’s Musical Instrument Design.