Home & Design

Feb 1, 2017


Life is movement… The eternal movement of the life cycle is the basis of our existence. The harmony of kinetic art, music, technology and design is ready to adorn your house with the meditative philosophical beauty.

The character of Greek mythology, Sisyphus, for committing a crime of treason, was compelled to push a rock to the top of a mountain, and whenever it was nearing the top, the stone rolled again downhill to the point by means of an irresistible force, completely invalidating the hard effort expended, repeating the action eternally, as can be seen in the work "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Albert Camus. Unlike him, you can enjoy the process by watching the ball roll through the sand creating and erasing dazzling patterns on the table of the kinetic table called "Sisyphus".

As a musical instrument plays songs, "Sisyphus" plays paths. You watch and meditate.

Basically, it looks like a common round coffee table. Under its glass top you'll find a thin layer of sand and a two-motor robot (the "Sisbot"), moving a magnet pulling a steel ball through the sand. The motors are controlled by a little computer which plays a set of path files, just like a music player playing an mp3 file. As soon as it is plugged in, it automatically loads a default playlist of paths and starts. The playback is controllable - one can choose tracks, speed of play, table lighting by means of a mobile app or by a browser to connect to "Sisyphus" with WiFi. We can say that, "what music brings to your ears, Sisyphus brings to your eyes".

So far, the creator of the "Sisyphus", Bruce Shapiro from California, United States, is the only composer for "Sisyphus paths", using a variety of vector-based programs with algorithmic approaches to create patterns. 25 years ago, Bruce quit his career of a doctor to enter the Motion Control industry – a computer-controlled movement in robotic applications, the technology that revolutionized industrial production and design, but until recently it was extremely expensive and complex. Some 25 years ago, the industrial giants discovered tools for mass producing floppy disks and sticky notes, and started to sell their automation equipment cheaply. Bruce, since childhood fascinated by engendering, music, and the idea of creating art with the help of computer-controlled machines, took advantage of the situation on the local industrial market that gave him access to extra expensive components available at cents. Since the yaers 1990, he has devoted himself to using motion control for making art and education tools, creating different pieces of metal, ribbons, sand, and even bubbles. Of all his works, "Sisyphus" stood out.

The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is supporting Shapiro's artwork. «My goal with this "Kickstarter" is to get "Sisyphus" into people's homes for them to enjoy as both furniture and art, but also, to inspire a community of composers to write music for it», - confesses the artist. 

Three sizes of tables now available, prices at "Kickstarter" start from 670 dollars. One can choose from:

End Table: "Sisyphus" kinetic sculpture within two-foot diameter x 22" tall; tempered glass-topped metal table (the exact size may vary); stepper motor driven "Sisbot" mechanism; metal furniture with wood veneer options for top and sides - birch/maple, cherry, walnut, black.

Three-foot coffee table: Sisyphus kinetic sculpture within three-foot diameter x 18" tall; tempered glass-topped metal table, stepper motor driven "Sisbot" mechanism; metal furniture with wood veneer options for top and sides - birch/maple, cherry, walnut, black.

Hardwood 4' coffee table: "Sisyphus" kinetic sculpture within four-foot diameter x 18" tall, tempered glass-topped all wood table; brushless servo driven "Sisbot" mechanism, ApplePly base and choice of hardwood furniture - maple, walnut, padauk - all CNC machined (Computer Numeric Control) and hand finished.  All components including servo motors are made in the EUA, except the circuit boards.

Bruce Shapiro's works have appeared in different shows and exhibitions, and is permanently installed in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

Contacts * www.sisyphus-industries.com

More Articles


  • scribit1

    Home & Design

    Sep 28, 2018


    Your space to your liking

    A couple of years ago, the architecture and design studio Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) has introduced a system in which a paint spray robot was used to draw images on flat surfaces, including...

  • GallerySlide1


    Jul 1, 2017


    Imagine an airplane which looks like two airplanes glued to each other by the wing. Them add six Pratt & Whitney engines, like the ones used by Boeing 747. The result is 580 tons of weight at maximum takeoff.

  • 1

    Culture & Art

    Oct 12, 2018


    No matter the age or generation, it's a fact that we all know the stuffed puppets that gained life and filled the imagination of its fans. Fun, different and even a little inconvenient, these animated puppets are one of the most recognized...

  • mindfullness1

    Lifestyle & Travel

    Sep 17, 2018


    "Living here and now" this is the mindfulness rule. Original from the Buddhist doctrine, the mindfulness is a technique that practices the full attention and the connection between the body and the mind, with yourself,...

  • slide-1

    Food & Beverage

    May 28, 2018


    Sunflower, peanut or sesame halva, with or without additives, almond, walnuts, and other nuts, the most delicate cream flavoring, the most delicious Turkish folder – in any of the sweets brand you will find a variety of tastes,...

  • Reading-Between-the-Lines-church-by-Gijs-Van-Vaerenbergh-2

    Culture & Art

    Jul 1, 2017


    A church can be the crux of one's life, or simply a physical structure that blends into its surroundings. This is what lies at the heart of "Reading between the Lines", an art installation which merges landscape, heritage and religion...

  • Bianchi-Specialissima-1


    May 1, 2016


    With an easy access to carbon fibre in Europe, the performance bicycle industry can now resort to new technologies at competitive prices, thanks to the knowledge developed by Formula 1 teams and the aerospace industry. As spring and...

  • 1

    Culture & Art

    May 1, 2015

    Training for excellence

    Majestic mountain ranges, the world's most famous pocket knives and bastionary banking are just a few of the things that come to mind when thinking about Switzerland. With its amazing cuisine, four national languages, horological...

  • Margush

    Luxury & Fashion

    Apr 1, 2016

    The Shine of Turkmen Margiana

    Margiana is a vanished ancient country, the first written mentioning of which dates back 2500 years. For a long time, its exact location had not been clearly identified, until the middle of the XX century, when the Academician V. V....