Intention Over Regret (2013)

Graded, sterilised Cornish sand, table, glass, lights, paper, spoon, 60w energy.




  This installation was shown as part of AIR:Pressure at the Academy for Innovation and Research, Falmouth University in 2013. The work, installed in the 'Sandpit' facility, plays with building sandpiles and their uncertain cascading points of collapse.  




Two shadows are cast by the pile of sand, suggesting graph-like images, such as planned metrics (such as growth) and ominous unintended impact. People viewing the work are invited to change the arrangement of the sand and to maximise the peak on the graph, while minimising the area of shadow it casts as impact.








It becomes clear that it is possible to increase the height of the planned peaks without increasing the footprint of regret until an unpredictable point whereupon cascades of sand spread as the peak collapses.

The work references a 1987 paper on models of stability and collapse in dynamic systems.





‘In order to visualize a physical system expected to exhibit self-organized criticality, consider a pile of sand. If the slope is too large, the pile is far from equilibrium, and the pile will collapse.’

Self-Organized Criticality: An Explanation of 1/f Noise, Per Bak, Chao Tang, and Kurt Wiesenfeld, Physical Review Letters, July 1987, Volume 59 Number 4, p382