‘Sisyphus’, A Kinetic Sculpture Featuring Stunning Expanding and Contracting Geometric Patterns

Sisyphus machine with three-pointed swirl

Steel balls roll in sand to create swirling geometric patterns that expand and contract in the kinetic sculpture Sisyphus by physician-cum-artist Bruce Shapiro. Two short videos show how the balls move with precision to slowly carve beautiful patterns in the sand. The sculpture is, of course, named for the mythological Greek king Sisyphus.

For the crime of cheating death, Sisyphus must push his boulder up the mountain only to have it roll back down each day. For all eternity.

Sisyphus machine close up

Sisyphus machine with yellow sand

Sisyphus machine with balls

images via The Art of Motion Control

via Core77