Sisyphus - Not Just a Coffee Table

Sisyphus Kinetic Sculptures
The art of Motion control, curated by Bruce Shapiro
'My goal with this kickstarter is to get Sisyphus into people's home for them to enjoy both furniture and art, but to inspire a community of composers to write 'music'for it.' Bruce Shapiro,

“I firmly believe that not only is motion control a ripe avenue for artistic expression, but the algorithmic of motion is itself inherently beautiful,”  says Dr. Bruce Shapiro.

The doctor behind the mind-blowing artistic musical coffee table took his childhood passion of art and science and created the famous Sisyphus.

Sisyphus comes from the Greek myth, but Shapiro defines his art as a kinetic sculpture, that rolls a ball through the sand, which creates never-ending designs which at the same time plays music that can be controlled by a playlist of your choice that can be downloaded, once its connected to the Wi-Fi.

Dr. Bruce Shapiro dedicated his life to art about twenty years after quitting his job. His love grew even stronger when he built his first robot, “Eggbot,”  using just an old-fashioned computer turned into a control motor and using two axes that were connected directly to the motor's shafts, which created art. Among all other creations, Sisyphus is what made the headlines and versions of it have been permanently installed in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. Shapiro has been recognized worldwide. He was the Artist in Residence in the Museum of Science of Minnesota and he started his own company.

His inexpensive Sisyphus tables are sold online on his website's Kickstarter.
These tables are sold for US$650 -$6,000, with options to choose the kind of wood from cherry, maple, walnut, black, and padauk. The tables also range in different sizes, from a two foot diameter table to a four foot coffee table. Since each Sisyphus is custom built, you can request your Sisyphus table according to your preference.

On his Kickstarter, Dr. Shapiro explains, “Under the table is a two-motor robot called the (Sisbot), which moves a magnet which pulls a steel ball through the sand. The motors are controlled by a small Raspberry Pi computer, which plays a set of path files, much like a music player plays an mp3 file. Sisyphus has no on/off switch; you simply plug it in and it automatically calibrates itself, loads a default playlist of paths, and begins playing. You can control playback – choosing favorite tracks or playlists – speed of play, and table lighting from a mobile app or by using any browser to connect to Sisyphus with Wi-Fi.”

Shapiro took a simple object and made it into an artistic masterpiece that changed people's perspectives and created inspiration around the world. After reading both sites, his personal blog called, “The Art of Motion Control” which explains in-depth his art and his story behind it,  as well his Kickstarter, he made me look at my coffee table and everything else in my apartment in a different way.There is so much truth in Molly Bawn's quote, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Sisyphus KS from Bruce Shapiro
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    Hardwood coffee table with padauk furniture

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    Bruce Shapiro creator of Sisyphus Kinetic Tables

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    The art of Motion control, curated by Bruce Shapiro

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    "Sisbot" makes the magnetic move to pull the steel ball to make create images on the sand.

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    Steel Ball makes artistic movement with sand, the art of motion.