How Domino Art Is Created

Domino is a game of skill, strategy and chance in which players place dominoes on the table in turn, positioning them so that one side touches another. When the ends of the touching tiles total a multiple of five the player scores. The way in which the dominoes are positioned provides a small part of the entertainment, and each player is urged to position the tiles in the form of a “snake-line” if possible.

Whether it’s a line of straight or curved dominoes, a grid that forms pictures when they fall, a stacked wall or some other 3D structure, it’s the precision of how these structures work together that makes domino art so spectacular. To help get this kind of work right, Hevesh takes the time to test each section of an installation individually. Using a video camera to capture the results, she’s able to make adjustments and re-test until the final arrangement is perfect.

As a result, Hevesh’s pieces look as though they were set in motion by some outside force. Creating these structures is both the most challenging and rewarding parts of her career, she says. The process is often fraught with obstacles, but it’s important for her to push past them. A single misstep can ruin the entire effect, so she works hard to make sure that each piece is in place before putting them all together.

While the term domino is sometimes used to refer to the playing pieces themselves, the word originally denoted a long hooded cloak worn with a mask at carnival season or during a masquerade. It’s thought that the connection between a domino and this type of costume may have inspired the name for the game.

Domino also refers to the effects that a single event can have on other events or on a person’s life. For example, a car accident might have a domino effect on the victim’s health. The term has also been used to describe the results of a political crisis, such as civil war or a military coup.

Domino shows are popular entertainment where builders set up complex and imaginative domino effects and reactions before a live audience of fans. The most accomplished builders are able to create impressive domino chains that appear to be completely random but are in fact carefully arranged.

For the most part, these domino shows are a showcase for a particular builder’s skills rather than a demonstration of the game’s rules and regulations. Nevertheless, they’re a fascinating way to see how skilled some domino artists are. Those who are able to manipulate hundreds or even thousands of dominoes into a precise arrangement will be the most successful. The most famous of these shows is the International Domino Festival held in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, which began in 1992 and has featured some awe-inspiring displays. This year the festival will run from January 26 to February 28. It will feature competitions in which builders try to outdo each other with their amazing designs.