Turns of Mind

Eli Whitney Museum

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The 7th Leonardo Challenge

Turns of Mind

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The 7th Challenge: Turns of Mind

On May 24th, 2000, the Eli Whitney Museum will open an exhibition of small works by designers, artists, architects, educators, and engineers. Each will make of common materials uncommon expressions.

This exhibition will help define design as a way of thinking: a fundamental mission of the Museum’s teaching. The exhibition will create the Portfolio of the e.Whitney Press's first interactive teaching compact disc. The exhibition will celebrate the breadth and significance of design as an economic activity in the New Haven region.

The May 24th Premier will fund the Museum's Apprentice Training Program which will underwrite workshops and classes for very young designers from all communities.

The Prime Movements
Nature turns wheels with muscle, wind and water in dutiful simplicity. Leonardo's mind reconstructs that movement. He collects and contrives twists and turns to compose an infinite choreography: sometimes a dull march, sometimes a graceful waltz, sometimes a jazzy jitterbug.

The Controller
The Museum constructs MacroChip Controllers to teach basic mechanics and basic invention. A crank and shaft move cams which alter the direction, the motion and, the speed of three or more lifters. The limited movement of the rotating shaft can be divided, transmitted coordinated and combined in unlimited applications.

The Challenge
Explore the simple movement vocabulary of this common controller. Adapt it, install it, transform it in a construction - that moves or not - to enrich ouranthology of the infinite twists of the creative mind.

We will send you a kit to assemble the basic Controller along with a 12x12 inch box which you may use - or not - to stabilize the work. It may be part of the construction or just a display platform. The idea of Controller is a launching point for your thinking. Elaborate it, transform it, enlarge it, reduce it, conceal it, reveal it: in all cases, the essence of the Controller.

Return the finished work to the Museum by Friday, May 21st. The final footprint should not exceed 15” by 15"; the height is unrestricted.

For your entry fee you will receive:

  • the Controller and Box
  • 2 tickets to a lively party and Premere on Thursday, May 24th
  • 2 tickets to the Junior Challenge Sunday, May 6
  • the Leonardo Challenge 2001, May 6th
  • a first edition copy of The MacroChip CD from the eWhitney Press

"Acrobats" Sharon Hirsch

"By The Light..." Jan Nichols

"The Quilter" Eunice Mahler

"Out of the Closet" Mike Dunn

"Mighty Joe Young" Sally Hill

"Chime Machine" Craig DuBose

"Elephant" William Brown

"Deux Ex Machina" Tim Nighswander

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