kinetic sculpture

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Art Design

Sisyphus: the Hypnotizing Kickstarter-Funded Kinetic Sand Drawing Machine is Now Available to The Public

April 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Sisyphus, the wildly successful Kickstarter-funded kinetic table designed by Bruce Shapiro (previously), is now available to the public via pre-order. The 2016 project raised $1,924,018 and is, to date, the most-funded campaign in the history of Kickstarter’s art category. The coffee table design includes a bed of sand with a magnetic steel marble that continuously traces programmed patterns through the malleable material. Many of the original designs are meditative mandala-like configurations, but it’s also possible to program the marble to create continuous line drawings or custom messages.

Sisyphus started taking pre-orders this weekend via their website. The table is available in two styles (coffee table or end table) and a variety of metallic and wood finishes. You can also follow the brand’s progress on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Melting Memories: A Data-Driven Installation that Shows the Brain’s Inner Workings

April 17, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Media artist Refik Anadol’s work Melting Memories combines data paintings, light projections, and augmented data sculptures to visibly demonstrate how the brain recalls memories. The installation was created with a custom 16 x 20 foot LED media wall and CNC milled rigid foam, and was shown earlier in 2018 at Pilevneli Gallery in Istanbul. In the work, seething swirls move across the work’s surface, resembling cresting ocean waves, blossoming flowers, and shifting sand.

To generate the data, Anadol conducted experiments at the Neuroscape Laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. An artist statement describes the technical process: “Anadol gathers data on the neural mechanisms of cognitive control from an EEG (electroencephalogram) that measures changes in brain wave activity and provides evidence of how the brain functions over time. These data sets constitute the building blocks for the unique algorithms that the artist needs for the multi-dimensional visual structures on display.”

Anadol is a media artist and director who specializes in site-specific public art that explores the intersection of physical and digital reality. Born in Istanbul, the artist is now based in Los Angeles, where he is a visiting researcher and lecturer at UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts. You can see more of his work on his website, as well as on Instagram, Vimeo, and Behance.

 

 



Art Design

The Quirky Wooden Automata of Kazuaki Harada

February 28, 2018

Christopher Jobson

With the push of a button or the crank of a handle, these whimsical wooden automata by Japanese woodworker Kazuaki Harada spring to life, with figures that bounce and dance across a miniature stage like puppets. Harada is a prolific designer of mechanical designs fashioned from wood both large and small, from tiny single-crank pieces to giant labyrinthine playscapes in galleries and museums. The delight in many of his automata is derived from their simplicity, but lately he’s explored increasingly elaborate devices like a dot matrix printer and longer sequences akin to a Rube Goldberg machine.

Harada shares his latest work on Instagram and you can watch nearly a decade of his completed pieces on his YouTube channel. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Art

Hilarious Kinetic Eye Sculptures by Lucas Zanotto

October 3, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

EYES is a short film by Lucas Zanotto (previously) showcasing several kinetic sculptures both built and filmed by the Helsinki-based director. Each installation is composed of simple parts that subtly imitate an action associated with one’s eyes. In one piece, two transparent globes slowly leak streams of water onto the floor below. In another, two black balls swing back and forth above an open book, slowly scanning the pages below. You can watch more of Zanotto’s videos on his Instagram and Vimeo, and take a look at all nine of his optical installations in the short piece above. Sound design by David Kamp.

 

 



Art

Asinas II: A Dizzying New Kinetic Sculpture by Jennifer Townley

September 23, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Asinas II is the latest kinetic work by Dutch artist Jennifer Townley who is intrigued by how machines can create complicated nonlinear movements from a circular motion found in rotary engines. The work is a successor to a piece from 2015 that similarly relies on sequential geometric forms that rotate to create seemingly chaotic movements. From her statement about Asinas II:

The various angles and curves of the individual parts create an elaborated unity when joined together on the shaft. The two “wings” formed by these seventy-seven parts are able to slide through each other and rotate in opposite direction at a slightly different speed. This results in a movement that appears to be far more complex, existing of multiple layers, where repetitive shapes seem to be moving within one another.

Townley most recently exhibited work with the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey and you can follow her on Facebook. (via Prosthetic Knowledge)

 

 



Art

A Giant Worm-like Sculpture Loops Its Way Through the Worcester Museum

August 28, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Shih Chieh Huang, “Organic Concept” at the Worcester Art Museum (photograph by Kim Noonan; image © Worcester Art Museum)

Shih Chieh Huang, “Organic Concept” at the Worcester Art Museum (photograph by Kim Noonan; image © Worcester Art Museum)

For the final iteration of his performance series Organic Concept, artist Shih Chieh Huang filled the Renaissance Court of the Worcester Art Museum with a gigantic worm-like sculpture. The work loops its way around the room’s staircases and columns, pulsing with the pressure of several box fans that keep the structure alive. For the last 15 years he has filled gardens, roadways, and malls with similar pieces, allowing rolled painter’s plastic to flail its way through each space it inhabits.

This particular installation was created for his recent solo show at the museum titled Reusable Universes: Shih Chieh Huang. Similar to the intestine-shaped sculpture, the pieces within his exhibition are made from common materials. Huang transforms ubiquitous objects into novel and complex forms, creating kinetic works that whir, blink, and subtly change colors in the museum’s darkened gallery.

“Sometimes when I look at these pieces,” Huang explained to Artnet about his installation, “I just see trash bags and fans, controlled in a certain way so that they’re moving; it’s very straightforward. But sometimes, I think that’s a cell, heart, a lung, a sea creature. I don’t want to tell the viewer how they should be looking.”

The installation is his most ambitious yet, with over one hundred various components. Formed mostly from plastic, the sculptures are not a comment on sustainable practices, but rather an exploration of the mechanical properties of each of his sourced gadgets. He hopes his low-tech works inspired a curiosity for experimentation in his audience, one akin to tinkering with modes of early technology.

Reusable Universes: Shih Chieh Huang will run through November 12, 2017 at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. You can hear him speak more about the connections between his mechanical creations and undersea life in a TED talk below. (via Hyperallergic)

Shih Chieh Huang, “Organic Concept” at the Worcester Art Museum (photograph by Kim Noonan; image © Worcester Art Museum)

Shih Chieh Huang, “Organic Concept” at the Worcester Art Museum (photograph by Kim Noonan; image © Worcester Art Museum)

Image © Worcester Art Museum Facebook

Image © Worcester Art Museum Facebook

Shih Chieh Huang, T-24-L, 2017, 8 x 13 x 9 feet, Mixed media, photo: Megan Paetzhold, Courtesy of the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

Shih Chieh Huang, T-24-L, 2017, 8 x 13 x 9 feet, Mixed media, photo: Megan Paetzhold, Courtesy of the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

Shih Chieh Huang, VT-36, 2017, 10 x 10 x 12 feet, mixed media (L), VT-34-BTB (red angel eye), 2017, 12 x 13 x 3 feet, mixed media (R) photos: Megan Paetzhold, Courtesy of the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

Shih Chieh Huang, VT-36, 2017, 10 x 10 x 12 feet, mixed media (L), VT-34-BTB (red angel eye), 2017, 12 x 13 x 3 feet, mixed media (R) photos: Megan Paetzhold, Courtesy of the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

Shih Chieh Huang, Reusable Universes, installation view (image © Worcester Art Museum)

Shih Chieh Huang, Reusable Universes, installation view (image © Worcester Art Museum)

Shih Chieh Huang, Reusable Universes, installation view (image © Worcester Art Museum)

Shih Chieh Huang, Reusable Universes, installation view (image © Worcester Art Museum)

Shih Chieh Huang, Reusable Universes, installation view (image © Worcester Art Museum)

Shih Chieh Huang, Reusable Universes, installation view (image © Worcester Art Museum)

Shih Chieh Huang, “Organic Concept” at the Worcester Art Museum (photograph by Kim Noonan; image © Worcester Art Museum)

Shih Chieh Huang, “Organic Concept” at the Worcester Art Museum (photograph by Kim Noonan; image © Worcester Art Museum)

 

 



Art Design

Creating The Never-Ending Bloom: The Amazing Mathematical Wonders of John Edmark

May 5, 2017

Christopher Jobson

We’ve long marveled at artist John Edmark‘s (previously) kinetic objects that function as a medium to express a variety of mathematical formulas and concepts. The spiral-like sculptures often defy description and even when looking at them it’s hard to understand how they work, something he refers to as “instruments that amplify our awareness of the sometimes tenuous relationship between facts and perception.” The folks at SciFri recently visited with Edmark in his studio to learn more about how he works and to catch a glimpse of some rather unusual sculptures he’s created over the last few years.