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Artistic, soothing tables evoke serenity

March 24, 2021   ·   0 Comments

KWS Staff – Consumers want more out of their decor. Much more.
When art, form and function come together in perfect harmony, the results can be fantastic.
Creations from American company Sisyphus are laborious, but far from futile. The company’s moving sand tables, from motion control artist Bruce Shapiro, go way beyond functional tables. They soothe the soul in mesmerizing fashion.
It’s not something you’d typically expect from a “conversation piece.”
What elevates Sisyphus sand tables is the meticulous attention to detail, and the impressive craftsmanship. These are masterful wonders, meant to be enjoyed and excite all the senses.
The metal ball rolls around the sand, and creates new images every minute. It’s simple and quite hypnotic.
It takes the zen garden experience to whole new level of sight and sound.
The popular table-top models are available in real wood finishes. It’s basically plug-and-play, and this optical wonder has limitless capabilities. They come with a standard list of more than 25 patterns or “tracks.” It has no on/off switch and you simply plug it in, and it automatically calibrates itself, loads the default list of tracks, and begins moving.
A mobile app allows you to select favorite tracks, create custom lists, pause or change the speed, and dim the table lighting. You can also download tracks shared by others online, or create your own Sisyphus tracks using popular drawing programs like Adobe Illustrator, and send the saved files to your table.
This is unlike anything else on the planet. It’s simple pleasure, in an otherwise troublesome world.
Watching as incredibly intricate patterns evolve in the sand over many hours, only to be “destroyed” by the next pattern, reminded Shapiro of the famous myth. Punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness, Sisyphus, in ancient Greek mythology, was forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down every time it neared the top, repeating this action for all eternity.
The company prefers Albert Camus’s take, in his 1942 Le Mythe de Sisyphe: “The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.”
The meditative beauty of Sisyphus is at the core of what makes it appealing, according to David Aberman, CGO.
“Relaxing kinetic art like this could only be experienced in a museum setting before, but is now something that people can bring into their own space. Not only can they bring Sisyphus into their space, but they can get hands-on with this art through track curation and creation, customizing it for their setting needs – be it winding down after a long day of work, or fascinating clients and co-workers in the office.”
He explained the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Sisyphus owners marvel at the beauty these machines bring, and in many ways make them a central focal point in their households.
Because the company views Sisyphus as an “art instrument,” they approach its design and production in the same manner as crafting musical instruments. They echo one of the central themes found in the Sisyphus myth; that of timelessness.
The first Sisyphus was created by Shapiro in 1998 after spending years as a self-taught builder of DIY CNC machines for use in his studio. Using scrapped components from industrial equipment gave him first-hand knowledge of and appreciation for their amazing precision and longevity. This same class of components is used in all of current products.
Aberman explained the Sisyphus mechanism has come a long way since its inception 23 years ago. Shapiro’s early focus was on large-scale installations in public spaces. The first was a 3-metre-diameter version at Technorama, in Switzerland in 2003 (where it remains in service today). The desire to share Sisyphus with more people drove the development of smaller, more affordable versions now offered.
“Given its scalability and unlimited design possibilities for its structural furniture, we envision it being a beautiful addition in almost any setting,” he said. “While we offer ‘standard’ versions, we relish the opportunity and challenge to do custom work.”
Aberman said they often take on large-scale pieces for custom homes, offices and businesses. There’s really no limit on how large and complex the mechanism can be.
Visit to learn more. To take advantage of a special discount for King Sentinel readers, enter the code king-sentinel at the top of the check-out page in “Click here to enter your code.” This will automatically deduct a 10% discount from the items you purchase.
You can find their social accounts on Instagram @sisyphus_industries and on Facebook @sisyphusindustries where they regularly post photos and videos of what Sisyphus does best – creating captivating kinetic art.
More information about Shapiro’s motion control art and its history can be found at:



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