Failure to Launch

by Daniel Miller

  Failure to Launch, 2017




Vimeo Movie





A large folded wing made from cast recycled milk jugs is mounted to the wall of an installation space.  As viewers walk into the space the wing unfolds and rises into the air. A rush of air is pushed toward the visitor as the wing lowers back toward the ground as if to take flight.  Using an RC controller interface visitors can interact with the mechanism; in this way the wing becomes an extension of the viewer.  This wing serves as a metaphor for the human condition, connecting to the story Icarus and his wings made from wax, however in this case the wing is made from thermo plastic. HDPE is a ubiquitous material that can be found in a multitude of products. My young boys, ages 4 and 5, consume a great deal of milk, the HDPE was recycled from 7 months worth of empty milk jugs.  The plastic has been melted at lower temperature and then compressed into molds to make the boney appendages of this wing.  The feathers are made from laminating the HDPE onto stainless steel rods.  All of this repurposing of the plastic is done with a simple domestic electric oven.  The structure will be put in motion with pneumatic actuators and controlled with an Arduino micro-controller. 

Dimensions: 8ft H x 7ft W x 6.5ft D.