Author’s Name: Franklin Zhu
Bio: ITP Student, Second Year
Name of Artwork or Topic: A Ritual That Lasts Forever
Date of Artwork, Article Publication or Topic: 2017
Describe Artwork, Article or Topic: A Ritual That Lasts Forever is a mechanized dragon dance.
Opinion of Artwork, Article or Topic:
One, A Ritual That Lasts Forever is just an impressive piece of physical computing. With so many moving pieces, the artist was able to achieve such a level of accuracy when the dragon dances that it is always synched up to move in a specific way. The arms that reach and move the dragon body pieces are sleek and powerful, run by a bunch of servo (or did he say stepper?) motors that handle the rotation well. The rig that these arms were attached to was also quite impressive, and I was admiring the construction because it’s a feat of nice, solid metalworking. Overall the entire project was satisfying and precise. Two, the background as well is interesting. As the artist described, it deals with the dying ritual of praying to the dragon and performing a dragon dance as people turn more and more towards technology. So, the artist built a technological dragon that performs a dragon dance, bridging the gap between an ancient ritual and technology. I felt more tied to this project because in one of my classes we talked about ancient Chinese hexagrams, and I recall the Qian Hexagram (the first hexagram in the I Ching) is all about the dragon. So I know that the significance of the dragon is that it was a constellation, built of a head, a neck, body, etc, and that depending on the time of year part or all or none of the constellation would be showing, and that would be mapped to the agricultural calendar.
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