‘An Accident Waiting to Happen’ was an art installation created by the Autonomous Systems Lab, and debuted at Kinetica Art Fair 2011. The piece consists of an organic table, on top of which sits a ceramic vase. As observers move closer to the table, the vase comes to life and slides around the table, reacting to the positions of people standing around it. The vase approaches the edge of the table, and hangs on as it teeters over the side, occasionally breaking its ‘spiritual’ bond with the table and crashing to the floor.
The work was intended to play with the observers nerves, gut feelings and expectations of how the vase should behave as it moves over the edge of the table.
Under the carbon fibre shell of this table is a complex pneumatic mechanism, programmable logic controller (PLC) and a microcontroller that reads 6 ultrasonic sensors in order to decide the locations of the observers. My involvement in this project was to assemble the pneumatic components and program the observer detection algorithm and movement of the vase. I also helped to prepare the huge MDF mould for the carbon fibre shell of the table.