In a mix of artistry, geometry, and technology, San Francisco-based Earthscape artist Andres Amador creates massive sketches in the beach sand – sometimes geometric, and sometimes more abstract and serendipitous – using rakes and ropes. The designs are temporary; where the waves don’t wash away his work, walking beach visitors and the wind will naturally muddy and dissolve the precise lines.
Amador has become keenly aware of how impermanent his work is, and has embraced nature’s tidal rhythm, starting one hour before low tide and continuing to work until an hour afterward. In this KQED Arts video, he explains:
People are really… they’re enthralled that i would do something that is destined to wash away. That really strikes a chord with people because really, truly, it’s the story of our lives. Our lives are impermanent, and the tide is unstoppable.
And though this art form is tied directly to nature, Amador makes great use of modern technology. The designs can be both checked and appreciated-in-full from high above the beach using a remote controlled helicopter.
In the coming year, engineers will continue working on the prototype, which the company boasts will be lighter, safer, quieter and greener than any other helicopter in the world.
That’s because a traditional helicopter uses one rotor to provide lift and a tail rotor to prevent the aircraft from spinning in circles. It maneuvers by changing the pitch of the two rotors. The volocopter has 18 small rotors mounted in a configuration that provides lift without causing the vehicle to spin. It navigates by changing the speed of individual rotors.
The goal of the competition: hover for 60 seconds, reach a height of 3 meters, and stay within a 10m x 10m area. Dozens of teams tried and hadn’t (yet) succeeded, until the AeroVelo Atlas team from the University of Toronto met the challenge on 13 June 2013:
This incredible flight was 64.11 seconds in duration (World Record for “Duration on Hover”), reached a 3.3m peak altitude, and drifted a maximum of 9.8m…
We would like the public to understand that with innovative engineering and creative design we can find sustainable and environmentally conscious solutions to many of the technological challenges facing our generation…