Solar Mobiles: Lloyd Konneker
August 2 - August 30
Here I [Lloyd] update traditional Calder mobiles with new technology: solar cells, motors, radios, and computers. I explore a similar design space: balance, recursion, space. But instead of choosing colors and shapes, I choose electronic components. The solar mobiles are less permanent than traditional mobiles, since the motors will wear out. But there are no batteries. They should work for decades. Note that the elements turn themselves: the motor and electronics are IN the element, not in a fixed base. Self-contained elements, as in wind mobiles. There are no conductive wires between elements. Also note the dual shaft motors (shaft exposed on both ends) in some of the stacked mobiles. An element turning only temporarily perturbs its neighbors. In a wind mobile, no element can turn without moving all other elements. One work uses radios and computers. This is an area for further exploration: what if elements of mobiles could communicate?
Lloyd Konneker was in computer science but always enjoyed creating and building. Konneker lives in a solar home and studied natural light as well as solar cells. One day he had a eureka moment: hang a solar powered motor by a thread to its shaft. Since then, he explored the idea as art. He is inspired by Duchamp, Calder, George Rickey, and Walter De Maria, but is now using new technology.
Konneker has been lucky to find a niche. He enjoys creating, but his basement studio is littered with sketches, failures, and works in progress. He has been aided by a groundswell of resources for local artists, makers, and open source contributors.
Most of his works are mobiles. They gently turn in dim indoor light, exhibiting the same soothing beauty of wind driven mobiles. Some are chimes. Konneker started with miniature, indoor mobiles, but he hopes to scale up to large, outdoor, public art installations. Lately Konneker has been creating wearables and communicating automata using radio chips and software.