Bálint Bolygó – Drawings of Harmonic Motion


Bálint Bolygó makes kinetic machines that produce drawings, paintings and etchings. The machines, which are sculptural works of art in themselves, are composed in such a way to choreograph conceptual forms of movement with gradual transformation over time. The resulting The ‘Polycycle’ set of works recall the linear drawings of the Harmonograph and more recently the Spirograph – exotic hybrid species of Hypotochoids and Epitrochoids that fall into the family of Lissajous curves.

The ‘Lissajous Light Drawings’ are ‘gravity induced drawings’ where elliptical pendulums trace a steady harmonic motion. A connected needle then records the trajectory by scratching carbon from a sheet of glass. ‘S.H.M II Lissajous’ takes the idea further with the aid of an overhead projector – allowing the process to be encoded into live optical drawing.

In mathematics, a Lissajous curve is the graph of the system of parametric equations which describes complex harmonic motion investigated by Jules Antoine Lissajous. You can find an interactive javatronic Lissajous curve here.

Some of Bálint’s recent sculptures make use of new material called Nitinol wire. ‘Nitinol’s physical function resembles biological muscle; when activated it contracts. To activate Nitinol it is heated above its transition temperature. An electric current may be passed through the wire to heat it electrically. When the material cools it can be stretched back it its original length.’

“By revealing the workings of something a certain mystery is also created,” Bálint says. “With the use of new material like Nitinol, complex shapes can be made to change shape and form; sculptures could become interactive where the viewer will affect the shape of the object.”

Some more drawing machines and related trajectories (all previously mentioned at dataisnature ):

Hektor – Jurg Lehni and Uli Franke
Drawbot – Jonah Brucker-Cohen
Drawing Machine 3.1415926 v.2 – Fernando Orellana
Rapid Action Painters & Artbots – Leonel Moura
Meta-matics – Jean Tinguely
Harmonographs & Spirographs

2 Responses to “Bálint Bolygó – Drawings of Harmonic Motion”

  1. Tom writes:

    Along these lines (no pun intended) I enjoyed playing with Isotope. There are some other great little Flash game experiments elsewhere on that site too.

  2. paul writes:

    thanks tom, yes isotope is quite neat!

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