O’Neill, Sean


Sean O’Neill

US artist, works with textural elements of field recordings, environmental/urban impressions and found sounds.

Detailed bio

Work title
Resonance and Springs
object, 2007
30cm x 30cm x 30cm, metal/wood frame, 4 metal springs, 4 solenoids, 4 bells/chimes, several micro switches, sensors, 4017 Counter IC, 555 IC, wiring, 9V battery

Sean O'Neill  - soundobject title: Resonance and Springs, 2007 Sean O'Neill  - soundobject title: Resonance and Springs, 2007 Sean O'Neill  - soundobject title: Resonance and Springs, 2007

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Short description
The installation will consist of a small circuit board controlling several mechanical parts and movements. The core of the project revolves around the circuitry of the Integrated Chips used on the board. A 4017 counter chip will count between 1 and 4, trigger a corresponding solenoid in the process. Once the solenoid is triggered and magnetized, it’s piston will be retracted, and extend the spring attached to it. As the solenoid is demagnetized, the piston will be released, and the recoiling action of the spring will sound the corresponding bell/chime. The counting rate(speed) of the 4017 chip, and the sequence in which the chips counts, will be controlled by motion sensors connected to a 555 chips. Thus, the proximity of the visitors to the installation, will control the speed of the sounding bells/chimes, as well as the order in which they are played.

The concept for this project was influenced by the mechanical designs of early 20th century machinery. I wanted to work with the analog sounds of the bells along with the actual rhythmic clicking of the solenoids, incorporating digital means to manipulate their movements. Since digital circuitry has been the driving force behind technology for the past few decades, my thoughts were to create an installation that combined a mixture of new digital designs with the older, analog methods of electronics and mechanics.