It's hard not to fall into a hypnotic trance while staring at art student Yasutoki Kariya's installation titled Asobi. The kinetic structure, whose name translates as "play" in Japanese, features a transference of light and motion from one end of a series of light bulbs to the other, á la Newton's Cradle. The remarkably soothing audiovisual installation mimics the familiar pendulum desk toy with its form and movement, which happens to prove Newton's third law that says for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. However, instead of watching a silver ball click against a series of other like-sized spheres hanging from a line of their own respective string, we're offered a new, stimulating visual.
By replacing the metallic marbles with light bulbs, we're given that extra layer of visual momentum in the form of light. The traveling speck of light that shoots across the stationary bulbs in the center and bursts into a bright spark of luminescence at the ends seems to inexplicably fulfill the audience's visual desires. The senses are ignited at each end and ready to experience that next jolt of lightning in the bulb on the opposite end of the structure. It seems like a simple tweak to add a series of 11 computer-programmed light bulbs in place of metal balls, but it clearly makes a big difference. Kariya manages to transform Newton's Cradle into Edison's Cradle, as cleverly coined by redditor teeohdeedee123 who created the GIF, above.
Asobi is currently a nominee for the 2012 Mitsubishi Junior Designer Award. Check out the video, below, to see the installation in action.
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