Concept: Hand-felted wool stalactite and stalagmite sculpture collection given anthropomorphic behaviors.

Impetus: I was thinking about the 1973 Thompkins/Bird book, The Secret Life of Plants that explored the idea of plants as sentient beings with physical and emotional characteristics. Cave mineral formations while not actually made of what is considered living material, do exhibit characteristics of life. They are dynamic and grow and change over a period of time. They are affected by humidity and light conditions, provide housing for microscopic organisms and the oils of mammals can cause them harm by discoloration or decay.
I wanted to give these mineral structures behaviors that took place during moments when humans are not in close proximity.
I chose to make these mineral sculptures out of soft organic material, raw wool, which I wet-felted together. The breathing lights are made of LEDs wired in parallel. They are controlled by Arduino.

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Future Goals: To use sensors to allow sculptures to react to the presence of others. Change in photocell values would cause sculptures to become upset and cause rapid blinking. Servo motors would be causing movement but if sensors values altered, movement would stop and they would freeze in place.

Thanks so much to Cecilia, Paola, Erline, Liz and Monica for your help this semester!