The Iron Genie & the Creation of Harmony
Will a harmonograph bring you harmony? In this month’s interactive tool pick, the answer is YES! The mesmerizing moves of the Iron Genie, a harmonograph created by artist Anita Chowdry, are responses to human calibrations and result in the making of beautifully rhythmic drawings. But whose hand actually produces the drawings—the machine or the human who calibrated the machine? It’s a question worth pondering, given the prevalence of art apps and art programs out there. While you try to make up your mind about that issue, take a well-deserved brain break and enjoy watching the Iron Genie in motion. Its swinging, rotating, and gliding will leave you in a mindfully alert state of calmness just in time for summer vacation.
The drawings produced by the Iron Genie are reminiscent of those you used to create with your Spirograph—only your Spirograph required constant hands-on direction. Curvilinear rhythm and structure are predominant in the process as well as in the end products. And oh, how the brain loves curvilinear rhythm and structure. These visual cues are perceived by the brain as soft (non-threatening) and orderly (non-arousing), leaving the viewer with an impression of harmony that aids in the experience of mindfulness. So enjoy the Iron Genie—either in the video below or live and in person at the Museum of the History of Natural Science in Oxford, UK July 8 through September 21, 2014—and then maybe see if you can dig up your old Spirograph set. Harmony awaits.
With appreciation for the important work you do,
Megan June 2014