Titanic's Revenge

Climate Change and Glacial Patterns: Titanic’s Revenge

by Madeleine Cheyette '19, Chris Park '22, Ryan Vinh '19

Inspired by the complex structures naturally created by icebergs, this kinetic sculpture sought to use rotational motors that follow the philosophy of Daniel Rozin: creating stunning visuals through simple, rotational, up-and-down movements. With this initial direction of design, this work seeks to answer the question, “How can we convey educational and thought-provoking information about a difficult concept like climate change through a kinetic sculpture?”

This topical scope on global warming allowed greater flexibility and context for this particular project. We model the effects of global warming through the up and down movement of a silver cloth, meant to represent a melting iceberg. The movement is powered by the rotation of rods attached to servo motors, programmed to change direction in sync to move the cloth up and down. The rods are held in the hexagonal structure held from the ceiling. 

The effects of global warming are further emphasized in another element of this work: lighting. Originally meant to simulate the sensation of the northern lights, the initial color scheme of green, purple, and cyan changes in intensity, akin to waves of light. Those three colors shift throughout the space, generating an additional wave of color. To reconnect with the theme of global warming, the colors gradually evolve into a warmer color scheme, representing the unbearable heat but also evoking images of an explosion: irreparable damage. This light transformation fills up the space and reflects off the metallic sheet representing the iceberg. 

To further reinforce a glacial theme, we manipulate the sounds of real glacier patterns to create an auditory experience for the viewer. The sounds are edited through layering, stretching, and low-pass and high-pass filters.  

In all, this project aims to use a variety of techniques from the visual, sound, and movement modules of this class to allow the viewer to reflect on the climate change affects our environment. Further work might recreate this project on a greater magnitude, or aim to create an even more realistic depiction of glacial patterns. We hope you enjoy viewing it!