kinetic sculpture

Posts tagged
with kinetic sculpture



Art

Animated by Wind, Theo Jansen’s ‘Strandbeest’ Sculptures Have Evolved into Flying Creatures

April 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

Each spring, a fledgling creature waddles, wriggles, or slithers across a Dutch beach. The sculptural animals are known as Strandbeests and are part of a growing menagerie by artist Theo Jansen (previously), who’s been constructing large-scale, kinetic beings powered entirely by the wind since 1990. Jansen unleashes the skeletal works—which weigh around 180 kilograms and use 2,000 to 3,000 meters of PVC pipe—in the early part of the year and uses the summer months to tweak their function so that they better withstand the sand, water, and other elements. By fall, the creatures have fully developed and scurry across the beach with quick, sometimes undulating motion.

Jansen recently compiled a collection of his works in the video above, which chronicles the Strandbeest evolution during the past few years. The montage encapsulates earlier forms carrying massive sails, caterpillar-like critters, and now, winged creatures that fly feet above the ground and is evidence of the artist’s decades-long dedication to developing the lifelike works.

A survey of Jansen’s Strandbeests runs through July 3 at Kuntsmuseum Den Haag, and Hannibal Books released a catalog to coincide with the exhibition. Explore more of the artist’s practice and elaborately built animal kingdom on his site and YouTube.

 

“Animaris Umerus, Scheveningen” (2009). Photo by Loek van der Klis

“Animaris Percipiere Rectus, IJmuiden” (2005). Photo by Loek van der Klis

“Animaris Mulus, Silent Beach” (The Hague, 2018)

“Animaris Omnia, Silent Beach” (The Hague, 2019)

“Uros Kirn Ader, Noorderstrand Scheveningen” (2021)

 

 



Craft Design

Dive Into the Process Behind Crafting a Kinetic Humpback Whale That Swims with a Hand-Crank

April 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

Floating atop swirls of whimsically cut wooden waves, a miniature humpback springs to life with the help of a simple hand-crank. The kinetic whale is part of a growing marine menagerie designed by Sylvain Gautier, who whittles and assembles the mechanical sculptures from his workshop near Toulouse. This particular creature is carved from basswood, with a walnut frame and acacia base, and is named “Wooden Migaloo,” “after the albino humpback whale often seen on the coasts of Australia,” he writes. Get a glimpse at Gautier’s process in the short making-of video above, and head to YouTube for more of his aquatic automata. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Art Design

A Kinetic Wall Sculpture by Felipe Pantone Spins in a Hypnotic Reel of Endless Color

February 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

Argentinian-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone (previously) boasts an incredible archive of sculptures and murals that are founded on the principles of color theory. His works range from large-scale glitches and bold pixelations to tabletop prisms that shift with human touch. His most recent project, “Subtractive Variability Compact,” falls in the latter category as it visualizes the full range of the CMY spectrum through stacked, spinning wheels.

The kaleidoscopic kinetic sculpture layers small acrylic rounds coated in gradients of UV paint in within a wall-mounted frame. As the individual modules in cyan, magenta, and yellow rotate, light is subtracted in various combinations, producing an endlessly evolving reel of color.

A limited edition of 200 sculptures will be available on February 15 from Configurable, and you can find more of Pantone’s interactive prismatic works on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Design

Delightful Characters Spring to Life in Hand-Cranked Wooden Automata by Kazuaki Harada

May 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

Japanese woodworker Kazuaki Harada (previously) has spent the last few years designing these playful automata that activate with a simple hand-crank. Watch miners work in tandem, a figure cackle with unparalleled enthusiasm, and the devil aggressively play the fiddle, and make sure to turn your volume up, too—Harada often pairs an audio component with the mechanical movements for an additional dose of whimsy. For more of his quirky designs, which include many of the character-based works shown here in addition to more elaborate, abstract pieces, check out his Instagram and YouTube.

 

 

 



Art

Kinetic Flowers Grow from a Deteriorated Landscape in an Otherworldly Installation by Casey Curran

March 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

In Parable of Gravity, artist Casey Curran (previously) assembles a vast garden of delicate kinetic blossoms amidst an expanse of deterioration. The sweeping landscape, which is on view at Seattle’s MadArt through April 17, positions Curran’s pulsing plant forms atop 20 towers of wooden scaffolding that line the gallery space. Coated in a thick layer of mud, the tallest structures scale eight feet at the outer edge of the installation, where a human-like figure appears to hover in the air. The anonymous body is covered in the flowers, which are made from laser-cut polyester drawing papers and powered by cranks and small motors.

Through the maze of garden plots at the other end of the space hangs a hollow, aluminum asteroid—which is modeled after 951 Gaspra, the first rocky mass humans were able to observe in detail thanks to a 1991 viewing by the Galileo spacecraft. Titled “Anchor of Janus,” the imposing sculpture references both the Roman god and the intricate motifs on Gothic cathedrals and provides a foreboding, catastrophic lens to the otherwise burgeoning garden.

In a statement, Curran explains the confluence of the manufactured and organic themes:

This mythological, architectural, and astronomical convergence considers not only the scientific and spiritual aspects of our connection to the natural world, but also our cultural legacy and the ways in which past technological advancements continue to impact our lives and experiences today. Further, the reference to Janus recognizes the dual nature of human progress, with all of the positive and negative implications it carries.

Watch the video above to watch the installation take shape, and follow Curran on Instagram and Vimeo to stay up-to-date with his latest projects.

 

Full installation view: “Kinetic Towers” and “Anchor of Janus,” Dur-alar, MDF, aluminum, dirt, paper, and glue. Photo by James Harnois. All images © Casey Curran, shared with permission

“We Spoke Like This to Remember.” Photo by Adrian Garcia Rodriguez 

Detail of “Anchor of Janus.” Photo by James Harnois

Full installation view: “Kinetic Towers” and “Anchor of Janus,” Dur-alar, MDF, aluminum, dirt, paper, and glue. Photo by James Harnois

Detail of “We Spoke Like This to Remember”

“Kinetic Towers” and “We Spoke Like This to Remember.” Photo by James Harnois

Photo by James Harnois

Visitors walking through the kinetic towers. Photo by Adrian Garcia Rodriguez

Curran installs “We Spoke Like This to Remember”

 

 



Art

Dizzying Kinetic Sculptures by Anthony Howe Billow and Writhe in the Wind

December 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

Washington-based artist Anthony Howe (previously) has mesmerized viewers for nearly a decade with towering kinetic sculptures that twist and turn with hypnotic motion. Weighing hundreds of pounds, the hefty artworks are activated with even the slightest breeze and resemble otherworldly organisms, four-legged creatures, and mechanisms as they coil in the wind. Howe documents his fabrication process for one of his works in a new video on his YouTube channel, where he shares a growing collection of sleek sculptures.

 

“Mums the Word,” 475 pounds, 206 x 96 x 60 inches

“In Cloud Light IV,” 830 pounds, 234 x 86 x 60 inches