Volker’s installation, entitled Bits and Pieces, repurposes 108 of the mass-produced childrens’ toys known as Hoberman spheres. The toy’s action of expanding and contracting was given an automated feature, thanks to 108 servo motors installed within the spheres’ centers. Each motor is linked to a micro-controller, allowing Volker to activate each sphere’s movement remotely. The motors could then be programmed to create different patterns and movements.

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When at rest, the orbs look like a colorful hanging installation, resembling a conglomeration of planets or stars. But when Volker activates their tiny motors, the entire installation seems to come to life. The colorful spheres expand and contract in waves, creating organic movements that look like living micro-organisms.

The synchronized movements are very calming, with each orb at times expanding to five times its original diameter. Volker’s combination of a common children’s toy and simple motors transform something recognizable into a kinetic experience that seems to breathe life.

+ Nils Volker

via This is Colossal