Dominos are small, rectangular game pieces that can be laid down to form complex patterns. Traditionally, they have an identity-bearing face on each side and are blank or identically patterned on the other. When one of these dominoes is knocked down, it triggers a chain reaction that can cause hundreds or even thousands of other dominoes to fall. These kinetic sculptures are the basis for a number of popular games. Dominoes can be used to create straight lines, curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, and 3D structures like towers and pyramids.
Many people also use dominoes for art and as a form of therapy. When a domino is carefully placed in the right way, it can help people feel calm and focused. These constructions also allow people to work together and share a sense of accomplishment. The history of dominoes dates back thousands of years, and they have influenced everything from military strategy to astrology. The word itself comes from the Latin dominus, meaning “lord.” Domino is also associated with the idea of cause and effect. A person with the name is a natural leader who knows the effects of their actions and is always thinking two moves ahead.
When playing a domino game, each player takes turns laying down tiles. The ends of each tile must match with the adjacent ones, unless the tile is a double (one’s touching one’s). The exposed ends are then counted and the player scores points according to the total number on both. The first player to score ten points wins the game.
In the past, dominoes were made from a variety of materials, including bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl or MOP), ivory, and a dark hardwood such as ebony. Today, they are mostly made from plastic or other polymers. A few sets are still made from traditional materials, though, and they may be more expensive.
Dominos are a toy that’s enjoyed by children and adults alike. But some artists are using them to create stunning displays that can take hours to complete. In her video series, Lily Hevesh shows how she builds dominoes in curved and linear lines, as well as 3-D arrangements. Her largest installations can take several nail-biting minutes to fall, but once they do, they’re beautiful and mesmerizing.
Hevesh says the biggest factor in creating her intricate designs is physics. She’ll often make test versions of the different sections of her projects and then film them in slow motion so she can see how each one works. She also makes sure the dominoes are arranged in such a way that they can be toppled as intended.