Psyche Twinkles

Shannon Hack

November 20, 2019

Major: Art studies

Genre/Medium: wood, paint, LEDs, Arduino coding, copper wires

About the work: Psyche Twinkles is an interactive sculpture where the user is in charge of how many stars light up to surround the Psyche 16 asteroid and its orbiter via temperature. When the sensor is introduced to icy temperatures, the stars are all off. As the sensor heats up, the stars slowly come back to life. The normal hand temperature will be able to activate the first two strands of stars. To activate the third strand, one must add heat via flame. When all strands are activated, all the stars will burn brightly and twinkle at different speeds.

I was inspired to make a piece that would not only inspire the viewer to learn more about the Psyche mission, but to develop something the viewer had control over, allowing them to feel as if they were somehow part of it. Containing it in a wood box was inspired by the Ames room, though that’s as far as that concept is used. The idea behind it was to immerse the viewer in the space of the piece and watch how they control the stars. The way I chose to depict Psyche was so that the most detail of what the asteroid is believed to look like is communicated to the viewer. The image shows Psyche’s famous two craters, and it also shows the color change of the asteroid’s elemental makeup, along with other possible surface characteristics.

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Date Added: 11-20-2019
Credit: Shannon Hack

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