Analysis and Design of an Actuation Concept for
the Art Installation “Captured Sun”

Analysis and Design of an Actuation Concept for the Art Installation “Captured Sun”

In the installation “Captured Sun”, an abstraction of the sun is hanging loose, shackled by its rays to a canvas. The body of the sun is actuated and sporadically executes fast motions in futile attempts to break free from captivity. The goal of the project was to conceptualize, analyse, and develop the actuator for this installation.

What was in it for the intern?

Hands-on experience in:

  • Development of actuation concepts per artistic and physical requirements
  • Analysis and simulation of concepts using first-principles models
  • Motor sizing and mechanical design of a prototype actuator
  • Electrical design and embedded software programming for prototype
  • Hands-on manufacturing of prototype and experimental validation. 

Expected outcome

A proof-of-concept of the artwork using the developed prototype.   

About Pors & Rao

Pors & Rao is an Indo-Danish art duo based in Bangalore, India, comprising Aparna Rao (1978, Bangalore) and Søren Pors (1974, Esbjerg). They work with objects and installations often incorporating physical movement and responsive behaviours.

After toiling with computer simulations, the internet, and gameplay in the early 2000s, they both abandoned the screen to work with objects that engage the body. Many of their works are conceived as a kind of ‘being’ with basic behaviour patterns such as shyness, fatigue and dependence, highlighting involuntary aspects of human behaviour and relationships.

In early 2014, they took project PATHOS (Poetic Animatronics through Hands On Open Systems) forward at the Wyss Zurich, with a focus on developing tools and modules for nuanced, emotive animatronic expression which is easy to use for non-engineers.

StudentBenoit Dubath
InstiutionETH Zurich
CompanyPors & Rao
DurationSeptember – December 2017