Visual Art

This project was done in collaboration with Yossi Farjoun (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid). We focus on the Sculpture Flottante by Marta Pan, and created a video that shows its evolution under a mean curvature flow. In addition, the characteristic sounds of the evolving sculpture were modeled and computed. The two pieces of art were part of the exhibition Everything Trembles by Jane Philbrick (MIT CAVS), that ran from September 6 through November 8, 2009 at the Skissernas Museum, Lund, Sweden.

Sculpture Flottante

by Marta Pan is located in the sculpture garden of the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands.

Triangulation of the Geometry

A replica of the sculpture was laser-scanned and a triangulation of the surface was created. This triangulation allows the visualization and the evolution of the sculpture, as well as the computation of its characteristic frequencies.

Images showing the triangulation Animation of the triangulation
Evolution of the floating sculpture

The sculpture evolves under mean curvature flow. At any time, the surface is colored according to the lowest three non-constant eigenmodes of the Laplace-Beltrami operator.

Initial configuration After 100 time units After 400 time units After 1700 time units Animation of the evolution
Sound of the evolving sculpture

Using the 50 lowest eigenmodes of the Laplace-Beltrami operator of the surface, a characteric sound of the sculpture is generated. In its basic form, the base and the hood are each "plucked" right upon their separation, and the evolution of the vibrations that result from this plucking are computed.

Below you find one example sound file, and the final song of the sculpture. Note that unlike musical instruments, the sculpture's surface is by no means created to generate a pleasant sound. Or physically said: the overtones of the vibrational modes are far from having harmonic ratios.

Related Publications

B. Seibold, Y. Farjoun The sound of an evolving floating sculpture, Indian J. Ind. Appl. Math., Vol. 4, No. 1, 2013, pp. 84-98.