Complex Effects

May 13, 2013

Our Rube Goldberg machine, built on site here in LSA, is composed of materials representing the feature stories in the spring issue of LSA Magazine. Each article shows a way of getting from point A to point B, but with unexpected connections and reactions irrevocably altering the landscape as it’s in motion.

We used time-lapse videography techniques to capture the creation of this contraption over a span of three days. The process also enabled us to capture an image of the machine worthy of the magazine cover. In the video, you’ll spot Joey Ostander, chief constructor, videographers Rob Hess and Natalie Condon, creative director Patti Claydon, and editor Lara Zielin.

The chain reaction begins with the launch of a replica of Richard Byrd’s famous Ford Trimotor airplane, used in his historic Antarctic flight. Orange “Hadron Collider” particles explode when Byrd’s plane (A) flies across the string releasing the globe (B) that tips over the water jug (C), which fills the backpack (D) and raises the tree branch ( E). The branch releases the helicopter (F), which rotates as it lowers and simultaneously starts the golf ball (G) rolling on the track and causes the books (H) to fall in succession. The books trip two switches, one that turns on the red rope lights (I) and another that lights the Block M. Meanwhile, the ball falls from the track, unleashing an orange particle explosion (J).

Take a look at the video above to see our contraption in action. Pick an object in the video and watch how its position changes subtly—or not so subtly—over the duration of the three days.

Video production by Rob Hess. Machinery by Joey Ostrander. Featuring the song "raymondscott" by junior85 (http://www.tonyhiggins.org).

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TAGS: spin the cube, video

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