Beauty and anxiety

By GREG COOK  |  November 6, 2013

He adds, “I was looking at some rock and crystal formations, and some flowers and branching in some flowers.”

Then he sketches in the computer, turning designs into vector diagrams that can be laser-cut out of thermoplastic. He applies heat to bend the flat pieces, to give them more dimension. They serve as lenses, shadowing, bending, and refocusing high-powered LEDs projecting out from inside the devices. Motors make parts move, like abstract shadow puppets, turning the light into kaleidoscoping patterns. Often pieces bump into each other, so he has to redesign pieces to fit.

“Part of what I’m interested in forms is maybe the relationship between a thorn and a flower petal,” Myoda says. “That attraction-repulsion is so clear in roses, but I try to look at it in other organisms, like angler fish.”

“Glittering Machines” address our relationship with our ever more autonomous machines. The future bodes more sensitive devices of the sort Myoda crafts. About an hour up Route 95, Boston Dynamics and iRobot are busy inventing Terminators for the military. The sci-fi future we’ve been anticipating with wonder and trepidation is already here. Other machines are busy all around us, opening doors and taking our tickets and flushing toilets. Maybe we’ve just not recognized them yet.

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