Bucknell Makes: Architecture for a Toy Poodle
The Samek Art Museum commissioned Professor Alan Cheville, electrical engineering, to construct Konstantin Grcic's Paramount: Architecture for a Toy Poodle (2012) for the exhibition, do it, which invites members of the public to create artworks based on sets of instructions or "scores," provided by the artists.
What did you make and why is it cool?
I did a recreation of a work called Architecture for a Toy Poodle that came out of the observation that few animals can recognize their reflection, but poodles are an exception. I ran with this idea and made a large, vibrating mirror with colored light that let humans explore how much distortion it took to stop recognizing their own reflection.
How did you get started?
When I realized how expensive the original piece was to build I looked for cheaper alternatives, which took me to stretched Mylar mirrors. That led me to realize just how easy they were to distort since it was really hard to make a good, flat surface out of Mylar. This was really frustrating at first, then I thought maybe I could use that distortability to my advantage if I drove the mirror with a big speaker. From there it was just buying or scrounging parts to make a four-foot-diameter mirror that could be adjusted by the viewer to distort reflections.
It connected me more with the art community at Bucknell, and now I am into making maker spaces so others can create stuff.