Giganty's Bouncing Infinity Gadget - Make: Community
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Giganty's Bouncing Infinity Gadget

By Sarah Gonsalves

This project shown is a 20' tall hand cranked machine that tosses 5000 superballs into a bounce chamber where the careem around and bounce off musical cymbals to make analog music! The Render is the re-design for 2022!

Type: Artistic


State: CA
Country: United States
Affiliation: Makerspace


What inspired you or what is the idea that got you started?

Giganty’s Bouncing Infinity Gadget is a childhood dream manifested. As a kid I collected those little rubber super bouncy balls you buy out of a gum ball machine, saving up my quarters from chores. When I had several big mason jars full of the superballs, I’d dump them from the 2nd floor hallway over the railing above the tiled entryway at the front door and watch them gleefully bounce chaotically in a big splash of color and motion. To me each ball was like an idea or a single thought. I dreamed of a machine that would keep the balls in motion over and over in an endless splash of ideas and imagination.

What is your project about and how does it work?

As I grew up, I realized the flow and dynamics of a system are constantly balancing order and chaos. As I got interested in astronomy and my love of space objects developed I saw that we are all born out of the same building blocks as our universe. I realized our imaginations and souls are boundless yet our corporal bodies are bound in a complex and exacting system. These juxtapositions are endlessly fascinating to me. Such as the relationships between work and play, industry and leisure. I grew up in Colorado and always noticed the grain elevators off the highways asking endless questions about how we got food for dinner. Through my art I wanted to shine a light on the way almost everything we consume or use had a life before, involving some sort of industrial process. It’s the behind the scenes of the grand play we are all living. To that end, it utilizes a farming industry bucket elevator to create a machine that activates activates imaginations and symbolizes child’s play.

What did you learn by doing this project?

When we brought Bounce Back to the Playa in 2019 my team and I worked through many challenges and we got it up and running for the burn. But then a series of small disasters struck. It only worked for a few days before it got stuck and cranked so hard the drive shaft sheared in half at the coupler - which would be like breaking a bowling ball in half! Yikes. Then the ball return system also tanked. Without those key elements, it wasn’t the perpetual motion machine of joy that I hoped for. I became determined to bring the piece back in an improved state from what I learned. The main thing is to test and re-test the mechanics and have back up parts!

What impact does your project have on others as well as yourself?

For myself, everyone on my all volunteer team, and everyone who saw it in action, it was a rewarding soul experience to create build install and actually fail. Many people (the event has 75,000 attendees) came to see the piece hopefully sparking their imaginations. Those who I talked to after the mechanics broke were touched by my explanations of what the piece stood for even if it wasn't in working condition. Many were even more interested in the reasons it broke and lot's of people offered to help me with the revision. This inspired me and many more to re-do it! For those who saw or will se it working again it's really joyful to work the machine, watch the colorful display of balls bouncing around and to listen to the music the balls make. People felt a part of it when they interacted and the idea that any childhood dreams can be manifested.


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