John Cunningham
Phone: 518-584-8325
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Saksaywaman I.  Manipulatory Work.  Granite, Maple, Twine, 38"L X 31"W X 7 1/2"H.  2013 

Saksaywaman is an Incan fortress near Cusco, the historic capital of the Incan empire and a world heritage site. Some of the stones in the fortress walls weight in excess of 200 tons and the process by which these blocks were lifted and moved is considered to be one of the great mysteries of the ancient world. Saksaywaman is a kinetic Architectonic sculpture capable of moving a granite block horizontally and vertically in space. This work has the capacity to lift a stone off the ground without first placing supports under it. If the support rods are manipulated with levers with the mechanical advantage of five, the effective ideal mechanical advantage of Saksaywaman could be considered to be 120. This is the same mechanical advantage of 120 pulleys but with no friction and no need for a point of attachment. (J. Cunningham. Nature, Volume 332, 3 March 1988.)
Front View:  Saksaywaman I. Manipulatory Work. Granite, Maple, Twine, 38"L X 31"W X 7 1/2"H. 2013 
Saksaywaman I. Manipulatory Work. Front View
Saksaywaman I.  Close-up of rod supports showing
application of lever and blocks.  These details are intended for instructional purposes only and are not part of the presentation of the formal sculpture.