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Lariat Chain
12 feet  high x 5 feet x 6 feet

Originally developed as an Exploratorium A.I R. project in 1986
 
 

This whirling loop of chain responds to touch with eerily lifelike waves that seem to hover in midair. The motion of the chain itself causes the unusual effect: When waves travel in the direction opposite the direction of the moving chain, they seem to move very slowly, or even stand still.


"From the top of a windmill-type construction, a bicycle wheel whirs, fueled by electricity. A long, rotating chain hangs from the wheel to the ground and dances into beautiful arabesques when moved gently by hand."
Blue Greenberg, The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.

"... uses a motorized chain - lightweight and safe in supervised little hands - that moves continuously. A touch changes its regular pattern of movement. A viewer can either appreciate that the piece represents 'the phenomenon of the standing traveling wave' - or stand and enjoy the mesmerizing visual treat of the dancing chain."
Genie Carr, The Winston-Salem Journal.

Note: Lariat Chain was developed from an earlier piece entitled Chain Reaction (1984). Chain Reaction was hand cranked, and utilized a heavy chain attached by magnets onto an iron flywheel. As in Lariat Chain, Chain Reaction used a brush to affect the motion of the traveling chain.


 

Museums currently exhibiting Lariat Chain include:
    The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA.
    The New York Hall of Science, Queens.
    Technorama Museum, Winterthur, Switzerland.
    Museo de la Ciencia, Barcelona, Spain.
    Hong Kong Science Museum.
    SciWorks, Winston-Salem, NC.
    The Science Museum of Minnesota (2 pieces), St. Paul, MN.
    The North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, Durham.
    The Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland, OH.
    The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque.
    The Explorium Museum of Science, Mobile, AL.
    phaeno, Wolfsburg, Germany
    The Big Bang Museum, Osaka, Japan.
    Fundacion Tiempos Nuevos, Santiago, Chile