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Norman Tuck

Norman Tuck

Norman Tuck is kinetic sculptor based in San Francisco. A retrospective exhibition of his work, Art Machines, has traveled to seven museums within the United States and Europe.

From simple wooden gears to metal flip type, glow discharge tubes, and iPads, Your Turn Counts actually counts the turns of a handle in increasingly modern technology as the orders of magnitude grow. A playful experiment in participation and patience.

Lariat Chain consists of a motor-driven bicycle-wheel rim mounted approximately 10 feet above the floor on a tripod with a continuous loop of light chain that fits over the rim. As the wheel turns, the chain runs with it. Left undisturbed, the chain loop revolves in a smooth and flowing manner. By tapping or touching the chain, beautiful standing waves and serpentine convolutions can be created along its circuitous flow.

This exhibit demonstrates the principles by which a motor functions. Closing a switch permits electricity to flow through the coils of wire wound around the motor shaft, called an armature. Holding a magnet around the coil causes the motor to turn. All motors operate for the same basic reason: When electricity flows through a wire and a magnet is nearby, the magnet exerts a force on the wire. Without either the magnet or the electricity, there is no "push" to make the motor turn. Turning the magnet over--reversing its magnetic field--reverses the "push" and causes an opposite rotation.

At first glance, the giant see-through-erector-set-like structure seems to be a realization of one of Leonardo da Vinci's mechanical inventions. Totally open and exposed, it is constructed of steel, ropes, bicycle chains and a bowling ball , and stands 24 feet tall. The clock has gear-like teeth protruding from it, marking off the sixty minutes of the hour, as well as a large and a small hand. It is powered by the weight of a large metal basket filled with artifacts which in turn acts on the crown wheel: the key to the clock's turning.

A snake chasing its tail. In this device, a motor turns a wooden snake tail. When the tail pushes the snake head, it changes the connections and the motor changes direction.

A piece consisting of a cylinder and guitar strings, that when plucked, demonstrate how strings behave when they vibrate to produce sound. Both the tension and the length of a string effect the frequency of vibration (pitch of the sound). Shorter or tighter strings vibrate faster to make higher tones and vice a versa, while the horizontal distance between the peaks and valleys of each wave reflects the loudness of the sound.