Reuben Margolin, a longtime Bay Area maker, creates kinetic wave sculptures that combine the logic of math with the sensuousness of nature. First inspired by the mysterious and mathematical qualities of a caterpillar’s crawl, Margolin began capturing the complex movements and structures of nature in sculptural form. His sculptures, which use a diverse range of materials, from cardboard to tungsten and from found to precision machined, undulate, spiral, bob, and dip in gloriously natural-seeming ways, driven by arrays of pulleys, motors, cogs and gears. Focusing on natural elements, his work is both elegant and hypnotic. As a child, Margolin delighted in maths and physics. At Harvard University, he switched to a liberal arts degree, before studying painting in Italy and Russia. Now, at his studio in Emeryville, California, he makes large-scale installations and pedal-powered rickshaws. Hear how he creates some of his extraordinary mechanical installations.
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Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium is an internationally recognized forum for presenting new ideas that challenge conventional wisdom about art, technology, and culture. This series, free of charge and open to the public, presents artists, writers, curators, and scholars who consider contemporary issues at the intersection of aesthetic expression, emerging technologies, and cultural history, from a critical perspective.