As our final project for The Great Pretender, we made a kinetic sculpture of our power animal. My power animal was an elephant and I chose to focus only on the swaying motion of the trunk of an elephant. This process was very long and very stressful for me because it included a great deal of trial and error. It was hard to make sure my design was aesthetically pleasing but was also doing it’s job as a kinetic sculpture as being interactive and including all the necessary elements. I’m so proud of myself with this project because there were so many times I wanted to give up because I felt like it would never work out. Through my perseverance I’ve come up with a design I think is beautiful but shows exactly what I wanted it to: an elephant trunk swaying.
Below is my artist statement:
WHO, WHAT, WHEN:
Wood, glass tubes, string, water and pins
The main goal of this piece was to represent the movement of an elephant’s trunk swaying. Getting to this goal was a very long process full of trial and error and sometimes a lot of frustration. We began this process with looking at examples of kinetic art and learning about several well-accomplished kinetic artists. From there, we went to a green museum to learn about all the different green technology that we could incorporate into our designs depending on whatever we chose our natural element would be. For my natural element, I chose water because it felt unconventional. Most people, when it comes to elephants, would think earth but I chose to go the opposite route considering they also interact quite a bit with water.
My entire project is intended to look very similar to an elephant trunk just in an abstract way. All the tubes swing from side to side to represent the swaying of an elephant trunk. I chose to represent my natural element in the plastic tubes, by filling them all up with water, which I discovered meant that if they were tipped over, it wouldn’t even spill out.
Creating this piece was in all honesty, incredibly frustrating. It felt like the process of trial and error was endless for a long time and I wanted to give up. At first, instead of water I wanted to use Ferro fluid, which is liquid magnet, but after a few failed attempts to create it, I was able to settle with just water. We began this process with creating a blueprint of our design and a list of what we needed to make it possible. I used 3 pieces of wood total to create the T-shaped stand and 12 plastic tubes and pieces of string. I first began with creating the stand and then attaching pins to the plastic tubes so I could run the string through it. My final step was securing all the string by tying it tightly around the long piece of wood at the top and then filling all the tubes with water.
This process was long and stressful but I’m so happy with my final product!
And here’s my blueprint!
And finally, the video of my project in action!