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“The Global Pursuit of Happiness, or: The Army of Luck” is an impressive piece of installation art by Boris Petrovsky, Georg Nagel, and Nina Martens.
The work is based around the Maneki Neko (aka Beckoning Cat; aka Lucky Cat/Money Cat), a common Japanese figurine which is believed to bring luck, attract customers and bring prosperity.
520 of the shiny, golden, XXL Lucky Cats are arranged in 40 rows and 13 columns on a ramp-like stand made of aluminum.
The Lucky Cats form a dot-matrix display, which consists of 520 waving paw grid points as its pixels. A servo motor in each cat controls the paws, and moves them exactly in position and speed.
Words and sentences up to 40 characters long can be entered into an attached keyboard, and are displayed with the paws, letter by letter, as a sliding text marquee. The Lucky Cats are also able to perform spontaneously as well, showing 25 different salutatory and signalizing gestures, as well as mass movements like the Mexican Wave or an ecstatic hyperkinesis.
It’s something that truly must be seen to be believed:
Rube Goldberg machines are frequently featured here on DYH, so when one appears that fits into two suitcases, and has a name like “Melvin the Magical Mixed Media Machine”, you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to get featured.
The machine, by a design studio called HeyHeyHey, was built in response to their first Melvin the Magical Mixed Media Machine, which was such a success that groups all around the world requested its availability for shows and festivals. Since it didn’t travel well, HeyHeyHey decided to build another Melvin, but this time, they wanted to make it portable.
The result is a Rube Goldberg machine that’s specifically built to travel the world, and even acts like a tourist when he gets there, ‘sending’ its own postcards and taking pictures of those around it.
It’s an impressive work of interactive art, and the website does a great job of detailing each step in the process, and documenting the journey that Melvin takes, so I highly recommend you check it out.