Illustrated Exhibition Catalogs:
Automotas - Arte y Mechanica
Parque de las Ciencias, Granada, Spain
October 2 - November 14, 1992
Norman Tuck is a North American artist who works for some of the most important science museums around the world. His creations offer visitors a unique, personal overview of kinetic sculpture, which centers around scientific experimentation as a source of both inspiration and creative activity.
A giant, wooden, motorized worm gear slowly drives two large wooden wheels. The vertical wooden screw rotates, driving two large wooden wheels. This kind of screw is often called a worm gear.
English Text: Pages 58-59
A shallow copper pan contains a zinc plate submerged in a quart of seawater.
This combination of submerged metals, separated by a group of small pebbles, generates a small electric current. The current passes to a tiny hanging electronic circuit which empowers a small coil of wire to repel against the fields of a central magnet nesting in a tray of liquid. The tiny impulseis enough to keep the hanging circuit swinging, mysteriously passing over the magnetic poles. This subtle movement contiues for as long as the water is replenished, or until one of the metals corrodes away, completely.
English Text: Page 60
Conical Pendulum Clock
The wire plumb bob, which hangs from the ceiling, make up the pendulum of this unusual clock. The pendulum navigates a circle around the clockwork mechanism in the same amount of time that an ordinary swinging pendulum of the same length would take to swing back and forth. Governed by the length of the pendulum, each circle takes five seconds.
The pendulum restricts the movement of the weight-driven drive train which propels the yellow fishing rod. The rod pushes the pendulum and tracks the number of five-second revolutions.
Thus, this clock uses weights and a series of gears to propel and accurately oscillating body (the pendulum) and to record the number of oscillations and convert this calculation to our standard units of time measurement.
English Text: Page 61
Timeless focuses with great precision on tiny movement. A clockwork mechanism is driven
through a five-hour cycle by the mute, gravitational energy of a hanging, heavy weight.
As the weight descends, too slowly for the eye to see, intricate gears tick out againste each other as a long pendulum sings slowly back and forth The falling weight propels a fascinating dance around its silent, straight, invisible fall, until it finally comes to a rest on the floor.
English Text: Page 62
Timeless: This primitive work lacks the appearance of precision mechanism. Yet, after one winding it runs for five hours with impressive continuity and precision.
“Happy smiles on children’s faces. Children’s smiles on adult’s faces.”
A Simple Mechanical Escapement
Pulling, then letting go of a red cord brings this Simple Mechanical Escapement to life.
At the other end of the cord hangs a red weight. The weight powers a star shaped wheel whose spinning spokes strike a hanging, metal, "Y" shaped pendulum with unstructured irregularity.
This little sculpture illustrates an ancient clockwork mechanism, a crown wheel escapement.
But here the mechanical elements are held so loosely that an erratic dance takes place, instead a measured beat.
English Text: Page 63
Two small stepper motors drive two copper helixes. These spiral appendages face each other to engage in a mysterious electromechanical dance.
The precision motors are electronically synchronized so that their copper spirals rotate together in unison.
Occasionally the spirals softly touch. Whenever the two helixes touch the motors reverse direction, and the dance goes on.
English Text: Page 64
A simple motor in which a coil of wire periodically repels each of a series of small magnets mounted on the rim of a bicycle wheel. This piece is an homage to the worlds first kinetic sculptur, The Bicycle Wheel, created by Marcel Duchamp in 1912.
English Text: Page 65
In Roxanne two motorized mirrors spin until they reach alignment.
When they finally achieve the right positioning, they direct a laser beam directly into a minute electronic sensor. The sensor triggers a momentary pause, before yet another search for perfect alignment begins.
English Text: Page 66
In Magnetic Attraction a metal wire made from a common coat hanger supports a small, red magnet. Meeting, but not touching the magnet, is a paper clip, tied with a bit of string.
The little clip floats, held in the air by magnetic force.
One sees the activity of the magnetic field with uncanny clarity, sensing its pull, the extent of its muscle, and the transforming nature of its embrace.
English Text: Page 67