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August 28, 2013

Balance From Within: What happens when you cross grandma's sofa with a Segway

From The Finch and Pea:




Jacob Tonski's "Balance From Within" looks like an illusionist's trick but it's really a clever bit of engineering, applying space-age technology to an old-fashioned piece of furniture.

Tonski, an artist who teaches at the University of Miami [Ohio], found a broken-down sofa from the 1840s, took it apart, and installed a reaction wheel — a rotating device often used to reorient satellites or telescopes. 

He then added a second axis to the reaction wheel which allowed the sofa to balance as if by magic on one leg.

Tonski says the piece is a "meditation on the nature of human relations, and the things we build to support them."

The sofa's mechanism self-corrects when the piece is touched gently, but if it is pushed too far — like a relationship — it can break apart.

Fortunately, the pieces of the sofa are held together with strong magnets, allowing it to be rebuilt quickly and easily — unlike a relationship.

"Balance From Within" is currently on display at the FILE Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil until September 1. 


[via The Creators Project and Jennifer Ouellette]

August 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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Speaking of balance, more in the Irritatingly Unrelated Series of Performances You Oughta See, with the weirdly underrated Russ Tamblyn doing a spectacularly gymnastic dance with shovels (if I've already done this, then watch it again), from "The Fastest Gun Alive":

Posted by: Flautist | Aug 30, 2013 10:10:42 PM


Posted by: andrew | Aug 30, 2013 2:12:36 PM

Interesting analogy for a relationship–or the mind

Posted by: Marianne | Aug 28, 2013 10:26:03 PM

i prefer the miracle of the balancing mechanism, naked.

Posted by: rob | Aug 28, 2013 6:16:24 PM

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