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The Big Picture: living sculpture made from programmed wooden balls

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 1, 2014
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Let's face it: with certain exceptions, most sculptures are pretty static and won't hold your interest for more than a brief glance. You may pay more notice to Hypersonic's Breaking Wave project, however. Effectively, it's a "programmed" analog display -- an elaborate, centralized motor system pulls 804 wooden balls up and down to create elaborate patterns that you'll only see if you watch from the right perspective. The size of the drums attached to each ball decide just when and how far they move. Breaking Wave's owner, Biogen-IDEC, is using the artwork as a commentary on medical science. It's supposed to show how researchers sift through "billions" of seemingly meaningless data points to create a clearer picture of the human body. It's a one-of-a-kind design, so you sadly can't buy one if you're entranced by the concept. However, you can either check it out in the videos below or swing by Biogen's office in Cambridge, Massachusetts to see it in person.


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