William Tremblay & Rob Gonsalves
Acrylic, aluminum, steel, EPDM rubber, servo motors, computer, custom software.
Translating powerful physical forces to an anthropomorphically
comprehensible and safely inanimate form, Wave Puppet is a marionette of
the ocean's surface directed by the math that underlies all waves. Wave
Puppet is an open-framed cube containing a flexible sheet suspended
horizontally. The sheet hangs from 36 vertical steel rods, evenly spaced
in a grid pattern. Each rod is attached to a computer-controlled servo
motor through a mechanical linkage. When a motor actuates, the point on
the surface of the sheet connected to the rod rises or falls, deforming
the sheet. When this motion is coordinated by computer, complex wave
patterns are generated, capturing the dynamics of liquid in a purely
mechanical form. Additional complexity arises from the inherent
imprecision of the motors, at once enhancing the puppet's similarity to
water and calling attention to its simulated nature.
A motion detector signals the approach of a viewer, beginning the puppet
William Tremblay is an artist and interactive media programmer. His work
addresses issues of human interaction with the technological world: the
choices we make and the prices we pay. He tends to create machines and
large scale installations. His work has been shown in numerous venues,
among them the Kitchen in New York, Boston's Computer Museum, the List
Center for Visual Arts at MIT, the Institute for Contemporary Art in
Boston, Artbots 2004 in Harlem, NY and Art Interactive in Cambridge, MA.
He is co-inventor of the Virtual Reality Chair, for which he holds a
patent. He attended the Studio for Interrelated Media at the
Massachusetts College of Art and currently collaborates with the
Collision Collective. He lives in Boston where he opportunistically
employs robotics, video and other technologies in ways they were never
intended to be used.
Rob Gonsalves is an artist, inventor, and engineer. Ever since his parents brought home a Tandy Color Computer in 1982, Rob has been hooked on programming. He honed his interests in the arts, music, and computers in the Boston area. After attending Northeastern and UMass Lowell, he joined Avid Technology as their 15th employee. As the senior consulting engineer at Avid, Rob specializes in programming effects for video and film post-production. He holds 27 patents in this field. Rob has often collaborated on art projects with his friend William Tremblay. Examples of their work are Telepresence, a 1992 installation at Boston's ICA, Y2K Pops!, a 1999 installation for First Night Boston, and Janken, a 2005 installation for the Boston Cyberarts Festival.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to jackbackrack and CollisionCollective, Mayor Thomas Menino and
the City of Boston, and Cecille Lemley of Boston Art Windows. Special
thanks to Jennifer Lim and Georgina Lewis.