As Above, So Below


Dimension: 26'' x 28'' x 55''
Medium: acrylic, aluminum, neodymium, PLA, PET, motors, electronics

Photo credits: Gumi Lu, Bowen Li
Academic Supervisor: David Carroll, Jess Irish
Writing Supervisor: Ethan Silverman

As Above, So Below is a self-responsive kinetic sculpture. It establishes a cyclical model based on the architecture of Tao philosophy, that weaves interconnected components into a complex network, unifying them into an inherently organic, ever-changing, indivisible reality.

This piece consists of six layers of dynamic sets of neodymium. It amplifies the weak magnetic field generated by mammalian bio-currents and uses it as an initial drive to manipulate the first layer of magnetic field. The average magnetic field strength of each layer determines the electrical velocity of the motor on the next layer. It flattens the entire self-similar universe of different spatial and temporal scales parts to the same grid and metric plane. The dynamic sets of neodymium on each layer are regarded as physical agents that senses the changes in the previous layer. The physical agents map data and incur computational losses throughout the transformation process. The magnetic field strength of the last layer and the initial drive are calculated with different weights to reactivate the top layer, thus looping and expressing the “empty, but not exhausted” of Tao.

Everything in the universe is interrelated, and the presence and functionality of one level can be mapped to another, as this piece reflects. In order to link things and events on Earth to the more general cosmic order and principles, the six levels of this dynamic process—material, social, biological, living, ecological, and cosmic—shape various organizations and sublevels in the course of generation, interaction, and evolution.

Considering that the degree of disorder of the universe is proportional to the number of possible states of the system with n-bit binary numbers, the rotating aluminum sheet consists of star polygons with 2 to the power of 1 to 6 vertices.