Inspiration: Kinetic sculptures

Amazing and inspirational kinetic sculptures from around the world.

Kinetic sculptures are simply sculptures that move. they come in many forms and can be made of many materials. Kinetic Art Fair shows Kinetic sculptures that use technology, or as is stated on their website “..provides a global platform for galleries, curatorial groups, design studios and artists working in the realm of interdisciplinary new media art.”

I am particularly inspired by sculptures using simple materials which the movement brings alive. I like the movement of the sculpture to be the focus of the art. I like clever, simple mechanisms, or sculptures that take advantage of natural forces, such as wind, to power them.

This post is heavy with video content, they are worth watching.

Reuben Margolin

Reuben Margolin creates sculptures out of found objects, wood and metal. The movements are inspired by waves and the movement of water.

Double raindrop

From his website: “Inspired by the interference caused by two raindrops landing near each other in water, the Double Raindrop has 500 pulleys and a mile of cable.”

This is a video interviewing the artist, showing his workshop, discussing his inspiration and process. It is super interesting to peek into his world and get an idea how these graceful sculptures are made.

And, finally, here is a sculpture that was inspired by Reuban Margolin’s work, the video is lovely.

Anthony Howe

Anthony Howe works mainly with metal. He designs his work on the computer, running digital animations to see how the wind will move his sculptures. He uses laser cutting to create the complex forms. His approach is less organic than Reuban Margolin, but the results still seem like they could be a strange creature, or some kind of gentle, highly evolved life form.

This is Octo, stainless steel discs that spin around a circular base, propelled by the wind.

This is Octo 3. these sculptures are mesmerizing and beautiful, but for myself there is something almost menacing about them, like there is something menacing about jelly fish despite the fact (or because of the fact) that they don’t actually think or plan. They must be inspired by an octopus’ tentacles, giving them a nautical quality which makes their placement in a scenic, wooded area somehow disquieting.

Here is a video showing how the work is made. I love seeing the difference between him and the previous artist. He talks about his previous career and show the process of computer design and cutting.

Theo Jansen

I feel like I am saving the best for last. Dutch artist Theo Jansen has been one of my favorites for a very long time. In 1990 he started making his strandbeests. It is hard to call them kinetic sculptures because they seem so alive. These creatures walk down the beach, propelled by wind, made completely with pvc pipes.

The artist talks about them as if they are alive as well, he speaks about wanting to populate the beach with them, one day he hopes to be able to release them and be able to let them survive on their own. They are eerily beautiful.

Throughout the years they have evolved, becoming more complex and better made. I keep watching this video showing the evolution of the creatures, I feel especially touched by the images of them in the rain. They seem so lonely and sad flapping their wings despondently.

Theo Jansen did a ted talk that is worth watching as well.





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