About the Artist
b. 1966, Chicago, IL
Paolo Salvagione uses his engineering background to create complex sensory experiences for his viewers working with projects ranging from installations of giant swings to concentrated aromas. He is interested in merging art, engineering, and playful wonder. Paolo Salvagione has designed bicycles as well as tools for NASA, and comes from a family of artists.
In the Gallery
Questions for Visual Analysis
Use the video link above or reflect during or following a Museum visit.
- Watch this sculpture for a few minutes. What do you notice?
- What does this artwork remind you of? Where have you seen something like this before?
- How does having multiple ropes affect your experience with this artwork? What might it look like with just one rope?
Salvagione has created several identical machines. Each propels a rope into the air while varying its angle, creating a variety of airborne shapes and geometric forms.
- What do you observe about how this artwork works?
The ropes’ movements are choreographed so that sometimes they are synchronized, dancing the same routine, and at other times they are “performing” different moves at different times.
- Note the title of the artwork, Rope Fountain. How does the title relate to the work?
HYPOTHESIZE, TEST, AND CONCLUDE
- This artwork propels a nylon rope into the air using a motor, yet gravity pulls it back to the ground. It demonstrates centripetal force, the force that pulls an object moving along a circular path toward the center of the path. See if you can mimic this type of motion and force, using everyday objects such as a jump rope, a bag with a ball inside of it, or a twirling skirt. What do you notice about the movement? How can you alter the movement? In what ways is it similar to Rope Fountain?
Low-Tech: Choreographing “Rules”
Paolo Salvagione talks about coding “routines” for his ropes, and has even been a choreographer-in-residence for a local dance company. Imagine you are the programmer/choreographer, and write down “rules” for six to eight movements for your dancers to do. (See Camille Utterback’s “Creating Algorithms” activity). Line up six classmates and teach them the dance, encouraging them to stay synchronized. Then, mix it up, seeing if you can remember the order of the “rules” and remain synchronized!
Low-Tech: Experiments with Centripetal Force
HIGH-TECH: BUILD YOUR OWN!