patrick harrop

Pneuma | Pneus


Pneus is a responsive pneumatic installation formed from bundles of semi transparent plastic inflated tubular cells interconnected through various low-pressure systems and simple electronic actuators. The system of cells is derived from the micro cellular structures of trees and plants that allow for trees to have a high degree of flexibility and which provide conduits for nutrients. The bundles of cells in Pneus are able to branch, bend, take shape and weave into various configurations. Some cells contained smaller cells with embedded sensors, electronics and pneumatic valves.

Pneus is suspended 3-4 metres above the ground and may penetrate or grow into adjoining interior spaces. The viewer / participant can thereby walk under the installation. Interaction occurs in different ways: constructed from semi transparent polyethelene plastic, the quality of light possible through the installation will make a continually varying shadow play, integral lights within the cells are being considered as a type of photosynthesis feedback system. Further, Pneus is responsive to various natural and man-made physical pressures in the built environment (small shifts in air currents, air conditioner vents, exhaust ducts in buildings, wind, updrafts) as well as various user inputs through pressure squeezable devices within reach (tendrils) and through a variety of sensors and low-level electronic actuators (leaves). Pneus is thus able to shift from one configuration to another through a variety of smaller incremental changes over the course of the exhibition.

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