Oroboros of Alternating Current

Oroboros of Alternating Current

Headlands research: Convolutions series, experiment no. 1

2014

residency research, prototypes, maquettes

dimensions: variable

diverse


The head and tail of a looped extension cord are plugged into a three-headed oroboros cable. The cable is internally wired in such a way that the normally parallel ground, hot and neutral lines of the extension cord are joined end-to-end in series, forming a long, returning coil within the cord, somewhat like a snake feeding on its own tail.

When the oroboros cable is plugged into a wall outlet, the substantial alternating current in the extension cord coil produces an intense fluctuating electromagnetic field. A variable transformer is used to control the intensity. Magnets and objects placed in the field dance erractically, and surprisingly chaotic behaviours emerge in response to the regular oscillations of the 60 hertz AC signal.

Experiment no. 1 in the Convolutions series (open-ended research, performances, installations). This research was conducted during a summer 2014 artist residency (sound-music programme) at the Headlands Centre for The Arts in northern California.


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