This Intricate Piece Of Art Is A Thing Of Beauty, But How It Was Made Is Truly Mesmerizing

Artist Bruce Shapiro's work isn't easy to define. It's sculpture, yes, but it's also kinetic. And then it's documented photographically.

The patterns come from Shapiro's invention, a machine called the Sisyphus Machine, that uses magnets to pull rolling steel balls through the sand with computerized motion control.

It's not surprising that Shapiro has a background in physics. He employed these same principles in a physicist capacity for a quarter of a century before the invention of the Sisyphus.

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus cheated death and was ordered for all of eternity to push a boulder up a mountain every day, only to have it roll back to the base of the mountain.

But in placing the tiny “stones” in a Zen garden setting, the Sisyphean task seems almost meditative.

The detail is incredible.

Shapiro is currently working on a tabletop consumer version of the machine to bring this moving meditation to your home or office.

Credit: Bruce Shapiro

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