Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Wavefunction, 2007
Subsculpture 9
Electromechanical pistons, computers, chairs,
Surveillance camera and circuits
Dimensions variable
Edition of 3
Installation view at the Mexican Pavilion, 52nd Biennale di Venezia, 2007

Wavefunction is a kinetic sculpture comprised of fifty Charles and Ray Eames moulded chairs. When someone approaches the work, a computerized surveillance system detects their presence and the closest chairs automatically begin to lift off the ground, creating the crest of a wave that then spreads over the whole room. A system of electromechanical pistons raises each chair off the ground. The pistons are controlled by a computer that runs the mathematics of fluid dynamics, making the waves interfere with each other, thus creating turbulence or becoming calm, just like real water. Periodically, the chairs stop interacting with the public and perform a choreography set to the music of Claudio Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna. Commissioned expressly for the 52nd Biennale di Venezia, 2007.

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