OSCILLATOR is a curated exhibition exploring the vibrant vibratory world of oscillators, oscillations, and feedback. This diverse, interactive show will feature installations and demonstrations ranging from cyclical chemical reactions and swinging bridges to out of control automated pricing schemes and el Niño.
Oscillators are ubiquitous, both in human-made systems and in physical, biological, and informational processes. They arise, either by design or by accident, in the presence of interconnected parts and feedback paths. Sometimes they’re a critical component, essential to the correct function of a system, other times they might be a curiosity or a nuisance, or even a catastrophic force. The exhibition will use the idea of the oscillator to bring together a brain-shaking array of experiments, interactive activities, and artworks.
Potential oscillations include:
- self-oscillating chemical systems like the color/pattern generating Belousov-Zhabotinksii reaction and the mercury beating heart
- biological oscillators like the ubiquitous circadian rhythms found in nearly all lifeforms, the electric fields created by the ghost knifefish to aid in navigation and communication, the great synchronized choruses of various amphibians, and the complex rhythmic patterns found in human brainwaves
- oscillatory physical phenomena like the chaotic motions of coupled and multiply articulated pendulums, the marvels of self-assembling nano materials, and disastrous sympathetic resonance in bridges, and buildings
- geophysical phenomena like el Niño and other weather patterns, continental drift, and cyclical eruptions in geysers and volcanoes
- math/logic/CS procedures and techniques for creating and probing oscillations, like digital waveform generation, logical games, brain teasers and tautologies, and pseudo random number generators
- repetitive and oscillating systems used in music, dance, and the visual arts, like guitar feedback, pattern music, cyclical dance forms, and tiling patterns
- cultural feedback and oscillations like memes, fads, and sampling and reuse