Better Bouncing Ball



Just been looking at this post on Rhizome. It’s ringing bells with me because I’ve spent the past few weeks working with 3D animation dynamics for Mainframe. Repeating the same simulations over and over with minor tweaks to try and approximate authenticity. Better Bouncing Ball by Michael Bell Smith encapsulates this process as well as making me think about science and art, technology, creativity and obsessiveness. Yeah, that’s a lot of thunking.

The piece essentially shows repeated revisions of a ball bouncing across the screen. I fully expected to see the simulation improve over time, but it actually deteriorates and goes haywire before returning to form and skewing off again. A metaphor for design AS WELL AS LIFE. The effect is quite comical in places. Aesthetically, It’s lovely - very orthographic, stark and geometric. It’s like a meta-exercise in a)design, b)real-world physics, and c)psychology. I say meta-exercise because I think the piece says something about the attempt to create or replicate. And maybe the confusion between the two.
Could just be me though.