Foucault’s Dream, 2016

Froiland Science Complex, Augustana University, Sioux Falls, SD

A pendulum installation for a Science Building on a University campus.

Project Description

This 3-story pendulum swings inside the entrance stairwell of a new University Science building. The artwork around the pendulum engages viewers and suggests a context for this functioning scientific instrument. These art elements include a spherical origin piece, a series of conical hoops, and a tiered terrazzo floor. Designed to suggest the “cosmic” connections of a Foucault pendulum, the art elements dress-up the pendulum while providing meaning and metaphor. The terrazzo floor, made up of 17 colors, has 3 layers or “tiers” of horizontal surfaces. Each tier is built into the pit of the pendulum to reveal adjacent orbiting relationships. Forty-five LED lights are embedded into the terrazzo floor layers, programmed to turn on and off as the pendulum swings. In addition to the lights in the glass disk at the pendulum’s “bob”, these LED lights reinforce the pendulum’s motion, twinkling like stars at night.