Nicolette Damianou

Creative Technologist, Biodesigner, Producer, Venture Builder
Thesis Faculty
Harpreet SareenDave CarrollLoretta Wolozin

Decentralization: Adapting to Absurdity in a Sisyphean Model

Three Robots and Moss Ball (Up Close)

This installation aims to demonstrate a cooperative approach to a repetitive task. 

Using physical computing and computer vision, I am exploring demonstrations of how parts of a whole operate independently, similar to a swarm, to balance a ball. The installation is an abstract representation – a metaphor, inspired by decentralized systems and applied to an interpretation of The Myth of Sisyphus.

Can viewers grasp the decentralization mechanic at work? Does this robotic translation prompt reflection on decentralized systems? Existential questions?  

Decentralized systems are often characterized by, among other things, their resilience and adaptability in the face of change or disruption. Similarly, Camus’ philosophy encourages individuals to embrace the inherent uncertainty and ambiguity of existence, cultivating resilience by adapting to life’s ebbs and flows with courage and integrity.

In this decentralized interpretation of Camus’ Sisyphus, my installation uses multiple tools (motors, metal, code, camera, machine learning) to attempt to learn to cohesively and consistently balance a ball.