Interactive sculpture SENSTER reactivated after more than forty years

Professor Tadeusz Słomka, photo by Maciej Talar KSAF AGH

Professor Stanisław Tabisz, photo by Maciej Talar KSAF AGH

Professor Anna Siwik, photo by Maciej Talar KSAF AGH

DSc Anna Olszewska, photo by Maciej Talar KSAF AGH

Richard Ihnatowicz, photo by Maciej Talar KSAF AGH

Laboratory SENSTER 2.0, photo by Maciej Talar KSAF AGH

Laboratory SENSTER 2.0, photo by Maciej Talar KSAF AGH

SENSTER, the famous interactive cybernetic sculpture from the 1960s, made by Edward Ihnatowicz, has begun its second life. Thanks to the efforts of a group of scientists and designers who carried out the reconstruction work, the sculpture reacts again to sound and motion in its surroundings.   

On 4th October 2018, the AGH UST Faculty of Foundry Engineering hosted the presentation ceremony of the restored sculpture. The event, which was part of the celebrations of the 100th Inauguration of the Academic Year, featured professor Tadeusz Słomka, AGH UST Rector, AGH UST Vice-Rectors – professor Anna Siwik, professor Jerzy Lis, professor Wojciech Łużny, professor Mirosław Karboniczek, and professor Andrzej R. Pach, as well as professor Stanisław Tabisz, Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Dr Anna Olszewska of the Faculty of Humanities, Curator of the exhibition, and Richard Ihnatowicz, a son of the SENSTER creator.  

SENSTER, a classic work of art in the field of media arts, until recently was considered missing. The name of the sculpture is derived from the words sensitive and monster. The structure was created at the end of the 1960s by Edward Ihnatowicz, a sculptor of Polish origin working in London. SENSTER was presented to the public at the Evoluon, a conference centre and former science museum erected by the electronics and electrical company Philips, which had supported the creation of the sculpture. From the mid-1970s, the sculpture was not fully functional and remained motionless until today. After over 40 years, in April 2017, the sculpture was purchased by AGH UST. After over one year of reconstruction work, SENSTER will now be presented to the general public at exhibitions, music festivals, and modern art galleries in Poland and Europe.   

While designing his work of art, Edward Ihnatowicz intended to create a sculpture that would start to move in the presence of people in its surroundings. He also decided that its gentle and organic movements would contrast with the weight and size of the sculpture. In this way, an over 5-metre tall structure came into being. The steel construction was capable of moving nimbly thanks to the synchronised operation of six servomotors. The act of changing a position was controlled by a computer program.  

The reconstruction work assumed the revitalisation of the damaged parts of the sculpture. After many years, SENSTER is again a fully interactive work of art.   

The project is coordinated by the AGH UST Faculty of Humanities in collaboration with two other AGH UST faculties (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics, and Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Automatics, Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering) and the Faculty of Intermedia at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow.

Laboratory SENSTER 2.0 – admission    

For 30 days starting on 4th October 2018, the sculpture will be available to the general public in the laboratory SENSTER 2.0:  

  • 23 Reymonta St (AGH UST Faculty of Foundry Engineering, Technology Hall),
  • 5 pm – 8 pm (the sculpture can be seen six days a week, with the exception of Mondays).   

More detailed information related to the project is available on the website: senster.agh.edu.pl.