ARCHIMEDES Teaser from Jack Whiteley on Vimeo.

You’ve seen live shows with projection, and more projection, and LED walls, and LED walls with projection. “Archimedes” is something different. An array of robotic mirrors, looking for all the world like some attachment for the International Space Station, moves in a choreographed ballet behind the artist. With bright projectors aiming at the mirrors, the result is a brilliantly-shining geometric dance of illumination. The work of Emmanuel Biard and David Leonard in conjunction with Daedelus, the machine itself is almost a performance – and then it comes alive in a blast of light when onstage.

This week is a special week for Archimedes, as the biggest array yet accompanies Daedelus at Barcelona’s SONAR. CDM will be there, and we’ll see if we succeed where others have failed: shooting video of this thing is darned near impossible, as light and sound quickly overwhelm the recording devices created by mortals.

While we wait, it’s worth watching the teaser (above), and reflecting (cough) on the mirrors themselves. Even watching them up close is a treat. We’ll let the mirror robots speak for themselves, in the language of mechanical dance.

archimedes 1.0 closeup from cycloptic visuals on Vimeo.

An early prototype:

More behind-the-scenes information in this pivot demo:

As Alfred describes this two-man team to CDM:

Emmanuel also goes by EMN and is a central visual voice for the healthy Manchester electronic scene, in-house visualist for the Hoya Hoya nights that have a fantastic reputation for their beats and bass (and alternative to London’s centrality). David is the engineer, who has exceed all hopes with the current build of the device.

  • ProgressiveSoul

    Very cool! But I wonder why they went with belts? Most mirrored fixtures I worked with connected the steppers directly to each other using metal pegs to limit the range. These motors seem to be fairly strong, maybe a little to strong. Either way, awesome job and I can’t wait to see the finial video!

  • David Leonard

    As is the case with love, scale changes everything. The mirrors are comparatively large and therefore require more torque to move them with any sort of intent. David.