The Sisyphus Machine creates beautiful patterns in sand

Bruce Shapiro makes mesmerizing and impermanent sculptures with commercial motion-control gear, as used in robotics to less artistic ends. He's been doing it for 25 years, he writes, creating kinetic sculptures that embody his love of technology.

Above is a time-lapse video of Sisyphus, which slowly draws intricate patterns in sand. More videos are at his Vimeo page, demonstrating the zenlike movements of the device in much-accellerated fashion.


The name evokes the classical fable of a man doomed to perform the same task over and over again for eternity. Shapiro told Metro's Oliver Wheaton that he's working on a consumer-size version.

Cory wrote about Bruce's earlier work in 2012.