Choreographed Iron Dust

Overview

Many Years, Many Names

Variously named, by TF staff and fans:
  • Dancing Trees
  • Metallic Grass
  • Metal Grass
  • Electric Cacti
  • Dancing Dust Balls
  • The Cousin Itts

2014 Award Winner!

Winner of three Editors Choice Blue Ribbon awards at the 2014 Maker Faire in New York City.

Since its award-winning appearance at the Boston Museum of Science in 1989, TechnoFrolics' choreographed iron dust has fascinated and delighted audiences around the world. In the form of artworks, special event attractions, corporate logos and science museum exhibits, TechnoFrolics' "living" landscapes of fine iron powder perform magnetically captivating dances to music or respond to the motion of a hand over a sensor pad.

Below are uses in:

In Arts and Entertainment

TechnoFrolics' Dancing Trees artworks weave metal and magnetism into visual music. Clustered in delicate spikes above a latticework of magnets, a field of fine iron powder quivers to life in performances that range from gentle to jubilant, from sensual to comical.

The Dancing Trees artworks embody a range of performance modes:

In Science Museums and Education

Since its award-winning appearance at the Boston Museum of Science in 1989, TechnoFrolics' magnetism-based Dancing Trees exhibit has fascinated and delighted audiences around the world.

The Pied Piper Plays

Inspiring visitors with a sense of the excitement and fun in science is an ongoing challenge for museum staff, especially in the areas of reputably "cold" sciences such as physics.

The popular magnetism-based Dancing Trees exhibit is an irresistible ice-breaker in this regard. With its lively, intriguing performances, this choreographed exhibit delights museum visitors with demonstrations of science at play, exciting their imagination and drawing them deeper into exhibit areas.

How in the World...?

Perhaps more often than any other TechnoFrolics exhibit, the Dancing Trees elicits fascinated inquiries about its inner workings.

The exhibit offers a theatrical, lively and playful display of computer-controlled electromagnetism.

It consists of fine iron particles above a two-tiered structure of magnets. The upper tier is a platform that holds the field of iron particles and a fixed arrangement of slender, vertically-oriented permanent magnets. The lower tier is a grid of computer-controlled electromagnets directly underlying the platform.

When at rest, the iron particles are completely motionless, clustered around the design defined by the permanent magnets on the platform. In performance, under the influence of the choreographed computer-controlled electromagnets, the clusters shiver, sway and dance in uncannily lifelike ways.

Offering Diverse Installation Possibilities

Installations can be programmed to dance silently, in synch to music, or in response to visitors' hand motions over a sensor pad. Dancing Trees science/artworks have proven particularly successful in the Physics and Magnetism areas of science museums as complementary exhibits to our experiment-oriented Hotplates (developed in collaboration with the nationally-acclaimed museum master planning and design firm Hands On!, Inc.).

In Advertising and Promotions

Whether it's the high-tech dazzle of an automotive trade show or the glamor of a high-end casino party, TechnoFrolics' Living Logos win the day, out-charming the competition, and luring customers and visitors away from competing attractions with their lifelike and enchanting performances.

Add a Living Logo to Your Sales Force

TechnoFrolics' Living Logos, custom-crafted in the form of your company identity, can perform to music or be programmed to move expressively in synch with a marketing narrative.

People respond with fascination, surprise, and delight as your lifelike logo fluffs up excitedly, shivers in fear, or suddenly swoops into a dance.

Delightfully and Indelibly Impress your Identity

An optional sensor pad permits audiences to "play" your logo like a musical instrument, bringing them into an even more direct interaction with this living version of your company name or icon.

Your visitors or customers will leave with the lasting memory of having had a delightfully personal, engaging experience with your company identity.