So WTF are “Techno-Kinetic Wave Sculptures” and why can’t I look away?

Reuben Margolin is a bay-area artist who makes “Techno-Kinetic Wave Sculptures.” Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know what that phrase means, because until I watched the above video, I had no idea either. Basically, Margolin makes sculptures that mimic nature on both a very large and very small scale. As an example, imagine a the spiral wave a canoe paddle makes as it pushes through the water, but blown up 100x larger and made out of a latticework of carved wood beams (or just skip to 1:04 in the video if your brain comes up short on the image like mine would.)

There’s something both unsettling and incredibly mesmerizing about seeing them in motion, but the process by which they’re created is spectacular. His work requires an absolute ton of mathematics, carving or otherwise creating incredibly precise and intricate moving parts by hand, then assembling them into these gigantic moving sculptures that look simultaneously familiar and foreign. The video details the creative process behind one such piece – the intersection of two wave forms – from conception through completion.

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