Terra Elastica, 2017

10 x 150 x 160 cm, mixed media

Terra Elastica is a kinetic sculpture that deals with the moon’s gravitational pull that causes the oceans’ tides.

Using mini solar panels, electro motors and paper origami made out of ocean maps, the piece aims to depict the intertwined relationship between the sun, moon and ocean i.e. the influence of cosmological systems on environmental systems and weather patterns.

The origami shapes are made from ocean maps, which derive from satellite images sourced from Google Earth. Furthermore, each shape represents one of the world’s oceans, with the Pacific Ocean being divided into South and North Pacific. Together, the six units form a star-shaped structure that is being put in motion through the spotlights’ sporadically cast light onto the solar panels.

A rotating disk with a depiction of the moon phases allows the light to trigger different solar panels by covering and uncovering different solar panels at different times thus creating a motion sequence. By catching and releasing the light, the disk stands as a metaphor for the sun’s relation to the moon, further pointing to the fact that the moon’s light is light reflected from the sun. Furthermore, the three spotlights enacting solar power and are in fact triggering the solar panels that in turn start moving the origami shapes. As the shapes move, a movement sequence emerges and this movement pattern alludes to the orbit of the moon around the Earth, putting each origami in movement as it hovers over each ocean. This sequence is based on the moon’s gravitational pull of the ocean’s tides.

Terra Elastica aims to trigger thoughts about the influence of the sun and moon over Earth’s eco systems as well as biological rhythms.