Update: Automating Mechanical Tide
This 8' by 5' piece is made of poplar wood mounted on a metal frame, which a small motor underneath rocks slowly back and forth. The surface of the wood has grooves carved into it, and thousands of small steel ball bearings of different sizes roll back and forth along the grooves. At each corner, a large tin can catches the occasional stray ball, which lands with a ka'chunk! that punctuates the ocean sounds created by the balls on wood.
Mechanical Tide has shown at Hyde Park Art Center, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, A+D Gallery, the Gordon Center for Integrative Science at the University of Chicago, the Audible Gallery of ESS, Caro D'Offay Gallery, and was included in Bridge Art Fair 2007. It is now on permanent display at the University of Chicago's James Franck Institute.
In addition to the video on this site, the opening of the show at Caro D'Offay Gallery is documented here.
photo credits: Tim Shaw, David Ettinger
(click on photos for documentation)