straight into the trash
October 18, 2012 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Perpetual Energy Wasting Machine (via)
posted by DU (47 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
The funny thing is that I'm watching this on a perpetual time wasting machine.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:54 AM on October 18, 2012 [22 favorites]


Why?

Oh, yeah, it's art, apparently.
posted by Samizdata at 11:57 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Engineering meets playful design in a thoughtful meditation on our wasteful energy consumption. I love it.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:58 AM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I laughed really hard at this :)
posted by rebent at 12:00 PM on October 18, 2012


It's at least more interesting than running a faucet.
posted by ckape at 12:01 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah, it's art, apparently.

So it appears... But how can we be sure?!
posted by mr_roboto at 12:03 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


If it's properly counterbalanced and empty, then it shouldn't be wasting that much energy should it?
posted by Grimgrin at 12:05 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


That is the happiest elevator ever.
posted by zippy at 12:09 PM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is awesome.
posted by c13 at 12:09 PM on October 18, 2012


Assumed this was an unauthorized biography of me. Ah well, back to turning all the lights on...
posted by jalexei at 12:12 PM on October 18, 2012


This is like the elevator in my building.
I live on the third floor.
posted by monospace at 12:12 PM on October 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


That is the happiest elevator ever.

Oh, quite the contrary:

"Hello, I am to be your elevator for this trip to the floor of your -- AARGH!"
"Hello, I am to be your elevator for this trip to the floor of your -- AARGH!"
"Hello, I am to be your elevator for this trip to the floor of your -- AARGH!"
"Hello, I am to be your elevator for this trip to the floor of your -- AARGH!"
"Hello, I am to be your elevator for this trip to the floor of your -- AARGH!"
...
posted by gurple at 12:13 PM on October 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


There's still friction losses, ineffecient motors, and opening the doors. Looks like they're only assuming 59kJ for each cycle.
posted by hwyengr at 12:13 PM on October 18, 2012


why must you hurt me so
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 12:14 PM on October 18, 2012


Why?

A sentiment worth repeating.
posted by mediocre at 12:15 PM on October 18, 2012


ckape: It's at least more interesting than running a faucet.

Or those two self-turning-off boxes that, when coupled to each other, keep switching each other on.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:27 PM on October 18, 2012


Yeah, but there's no Droopy to say, "Going down, sir...Going up, sir." So it loses points with me.
posted by Chuffy at 12:35 PM on October 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


And then, no wait, here's the best part: and then the calculations go straight into the trash, man.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 12:48 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


What makes it for me is how elegant the construction is. Maybe I am just a sucker for CNC'd plywood.
posted by muddgirl at 12:54 PM on October 18, 2012


It reminds me of the Shabbat elevator. They're designed to automatically go up and down and stop on every floor so that Orthodox Jews can use elevators on the Sabbath without pushing the buttons, which would count as doing work. By Israeli law, since 2001 every new building which has more than one elevator must have one built as a Shabbat elevator.

In 2009, a group of Haredi Rabbis ruled that even Shabbat elevators are impermissible, presumably just to be difficult.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:55 PM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Very nice, but humanity will always be the ultimate energy wasting machine.
posted by orme at 1:12 PM on October 18, 2012


Google has no answers either.
posted by banished at 1:19 PM on October 18, 2012


I thought this was going to be another post about WOW or similar online adventures. Talk about energy and time wasters . . .

Instead I am left with that ever gnawing internal debate: that I don't understand art at all or that I understand it too well.
posted by oshburghor at 1:30 PM on October 18, 2012


If it's properly counterbalanced and empty, then it shouldn't be wasting that much energy should it?
posted by Grimgrin at 12:05 PM on October 18


Absolutely. In fact, elevators are generally more energy efficient than escalators due to the use of counterweights.
posted by samofidelis at 1:30 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Samizdata: "Why?"

Why not?
posted by brundlefly at 1:33 PM on October 18, 2012


I lost it upon learning what happens to the calculations. What an awesome and hilarious punchline. I think this is as much comedy as it is art.
posted by treepour at 1:33 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


A very large version of this occurs twice a day on the highway in and out of town.
posted by klanawa at 1:35 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you have to ask why, you'll never understand the answer.

The counterbalancing is a great point. I wonder how much elevators DO use.
posted by DU at 1:38 PM on October 18, 2012


samofidelis: "In fact, elevators are generally more energy efficient than escalators due to the use of counterweights."

Wouldn't the return leg of the escalator's tread loop serve the same purpose as a counterweight?
posted by radwolf76 at 1:48 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The energy hasn't been wasted. It has been converted into web clicks.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:48 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


So I read the title as "Perpetual Energy Wrestling Machine" and needless to say there was a bit of disappointment.
posted by Valued Customer at 1:50 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


It made me think of how often similar things are done, not for the sake of art or comedy, but for the sake of ease, habit, or bureaucracy. How much energy is wasted each day heating and lighting buildings at night while while they are empty, how much time is wasted commuting in and out of the suburbs, etc, etc. This elevator stopped me and made me think both about ways that I and society waste energy. I also thought about how I feel I'm stuck in an endless loop day to day with the only real change being the number printed on that piece of paper thrown in the trash.

Plus it uses some sweet pulleys, counter-balances, and re-purposes an old adding machine.

That's a whole lot of thinking and introspection caused by something that isn't 'art'.
posted by Quack at 1:50 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Another post about the presidential debates?! C'mon you guys.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:58 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how much elevators DO use.

According to the video, it uses 59 kilojoules per cycle (that's what gets typed into the calculator), which is about 17 watt-hours. Assuming it takes 30 seconds for a complete cycle, that averages to about 500 watts while it's running.
posted by hwyengr at 1:59 PM on October 18, 2012


pure evil.

have you ever worked at the top of 16 story building with insufficient elevator service, have you? HAVE YOU?
posted by ennui.bz at 2:15 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Elelator go up! Elelator go down! Elelator go up! Elelator go down! Elelator go . . ."
posted by Phyllis Harmonic at 2:30 PM on October 18, 2012


You rang?
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 2:42 PM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Wouldn't the return leg of the escalator's tread loop serve the same purpose as a counterweight?"

Or if the down escalator was tied into the up escalator such that the force created by gravity pulling down on the descending tread+people provided impetus to drive the up-escalator tread. In which case you'd want more people descending than ascending, to get a good ride up.
posted by Phyllis Harmonic at 2:50 PM on October 18, 2012


I had the impression that most few-floor elevators stand on few-floor posts and are lifted by hydraulics, and the cables and counterweights hung from the roof are reserved for bigger installations. This elevator seems to only go between two floors (despite monospace's complaint to the contrary). You can see some of the mechanism between 1:00 and 1:10 in the video: the compartment seems to be sitting on a shelf which slides along a rail on the right side of the shaft. There's some sort of a plate that moves at half the speed of the elevator, but not counterweight.

Besides, this is the kind of project where, if you pointed out that the counterweight was reducing the inefficiency, the artist would add some bowling balls that fall out of the elevator on the second floor, roll down the stairs, and get picked up again on the first floor.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 2:55 PM on October 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


It reminds me of the Shabbat elevator. They're designed to automatically go up and down and stop on every floor so that Orthodox Jews can use elevators on the Sabbath without pushing the buttons

They should use a paternoster!

Oh wait ...
posted by zippy at 3:24 PM on October 18, 2012


If it's properly counterbalanced and empty, then it shouldn't be wasting that much energy should it?

Short-haul elevators like this are almost always hydraulic, and have no counterweights. They use a lot of energy to go up, and little or none to go down.
posted by Western Infidels at 3:46 PM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


From the project's web page:
As this is an hydraulic elevator, and as the cabin's mass is not equalized by a counterweight, only the movement up consumes electricity.
That seems a little optimistic.

The artist has only estimated the energy usage figures used in the project, not measured them, for whatever reason.
posted by Western Infidels at 4:00 PM on October 18, 2012


mr_roboto: "Oh, yeah, it's art, apparently.

So it appears... But how can we be sure?!
"

I generally find, nowadays, if the utility, or lack thereof, leaves me completely baffled, I am safe in saying "It's art."
posted by Samizdata at 4:15 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


brundlefly: "Samizdata: "Why?"

Why not?
"

And, thus, we describe my dating history.
posted by Samizdata at 4:18 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Phyllis Harmonic: ""Elelator go up! Elelator go down! Elelator go up! Elelator go down! Elelator go . . .""

YOU NO PUSH BUTTON! MACHINE PUSH BUTTON!
posted by Samizdata at 4:20 PM on October 18, 2012


Every parent has at least one perpetual energy wasting machine.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:58 PM on October 18, 2012


"...in an infinite loop. ...indefinitely."
posted by herbplarfegan at 1:03 PM on October 19, 2012


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