kinetic sculpture

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Art

Luminescent Sculptures by Shih Chieh Huang Reference the Spectacular Attributes of Deep Sea Creatures

March 26, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"T-24-L (Detail)" (2016-17), Mixed media, 12 x 14 x 14 feet, photo by Vince Ruvolo, all images courtesy of the artist and Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York

“T-24-L (Detail)” (2016-17), Mixed media, 12 x 14 x 14 feet, photo by Vince Ruvolo, all images courtesy of the artist and Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York

Taiwanese artist Shih Chieh Huang (previously) produces day-glow sculptures that illuminate, expand, and deflate—creating a whirling light show that both excites and relaxes the mind. His kinetic sculptures are powered by computer cooling fans and circuit breakers which are prominently incorporated into the works. Dozens of transparent plastic tentacles, LED lights, glowing liquids, and mechanical features give the pieces the appearance of bioluminescent underwater creatures who have adapted to survive in the far corners of the sea.

Huang told Colossal that his current solo exhibition Incubate at Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York addresses chaos, order, growth, and pattern, and uses brand new materials such as continuous wire, a peristaltic pump for neon liquids, and a urethane belt. His work will be included in the upcoming group exhibition Useless: Machines for Dreaming, Thinking, and Seeing at the Bronx Museum starting this upcoming Wednesday, March 27 and running through September 1, 2019. You can see more of Huang’s glowing sculptural works on his website and Instagram. A tour of his current exhibition at Ronald Feldman Gallery, which closes April 13, 2019, can be seen in the video below.

Incubate installation view (2019), photo by Vince Ruvolo

Incubate installation view (2019), photo by Vince Ruvolo

"VT-34-BTB (red angel eye)" (2017-18), Mixed media, 144 x 156 x 36 inches, photo by Megan Paetzhold

“VT-34-BTB (red angel eye)” (2017-18), Mixed media, 144 x 156 x 36 inches, photo by Megan Paetzhold

Incubate installation view (2019), photo by Vince Ruvolo

Incubate installation view (2019), photo by Vince Ruvolo

"VT-36" (2017-18), Mixed media, 10 x 10 x 12 feet, photo by Megan Paetzhold

“VT-36” (2017-18), Mixed media, 10 x 10 x 12 feet, photo by Megan Paetzhold

Incubate installation view (2019), photo by Vince Ruvolo

Incubate installation view (2019), photo by Vince Ruvolo

Incubate installation view (2019), photo by Vince Ruvolo

Incubate installation view (2019), photo by Vince Ruvolo

 

 



Animation

Children’s Blocks Take the Form of Simplified Animals in Animations by Lucas Zanotto

November 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

MINIMALS is a new short film by Helsinki-based animator and director Lucas Zanotto (previously) composed of fictionalized kinetic sculptures based on real animals. The series of short animations catch each simplified creature in a repetitive loop that imitates the extension of an elephant’s trunk, a crab’s sideways walk, or the incessant pecking of chickens. The animals appear to be formed from children’s blocks with colors that hint at their actual breed. Pink spheres with snouts are an easy give-away for pigs, while other configurations, like a flat mauve disk rolling across a slender beige cylinder, are a little bit harder to place. Zanotto’s second book, EVERIMAL, was published earlier this year. You can see more of his short animations on his Instagram and Vimeo.

 

 



Art

A 46-Foot-Tall Minotaur Roams the Streets of Toulouse, France in La Machine’s Latest Urban Opera

November 8, 2018

Sasha Bogojev

The French creative company La Machine recently premiered their latest creation, a nearly 50-foot-tall robotic Minotaur, in Toulouse, France. The beast marched through the labyrinthine streets of the city’s old town accompanied by a 42-foot spider for the group’s latest production The Guardian of the Temple. The pair of machines performed an operatic interpretation of the myth of Ariadne, a Cretan princess who helped Theseus overcome the Minotaur, to live music. These impressive kinetic sculptures are La Machine’s latest project from their oeuvre of mechanical bestiary which has operating worldwide since 1999.

Bringing together artists, technicians, and show decorators, this unique group of enthusiasts and experts construct atypical show objects, and movement is the key factor for their awe-inspiring performances and creations. La Machine’s animal-like works turn the cities into dream worlds. “We always work on movement,” La Machine’s head of marketing, Frédette Lampre tells Colossal. “It’s our artistic line and we always use the fine material such as wood, leather, copper, or glass, and never use plastics.”

The mechanical spider was constructed over the course of two years by a team of around 60 people. The mythical Minotaur machine is half electric and half combustion, and moves around the city with the help of 17 operators. Although this technical beast weighs over 10,000 pounds, it still has the capacity to move smoothly and realistically between the city’s large buildings and blast steam out of its large nostrils.

The performance was organized as an introduction of the newly repurposed Toulouse Aerospace district. After presenting their creations and projects throughout Germany, Belgium, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Japan, China, and Canada, their upcoming shows are scheduled for Nantes and Calais in France. You can see a portion of the Toulouse-based performance in the video below and view past productions on La Machine’s website, Instagram, and Youtube.  (via Dioniso Punk)

 

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Astérion a parcouru @toulousefr au pas de charge pour accomplir sa quête #gardiendutemple

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Art Design

A Kinetic Sculpture Built from over 600 Parts Gracefully Imitates a Swimming Sea Turtle

November 2, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Carapace is a kinetic sculpture designed by Derek Hugger (previously) that mimics the motion of a sea turtle gliding through the ocean. The wooden work is composed of over six hundred parts which allow the creature to elegantly tilt its fins, move its body up and down, and even crane its head as if rising above the water for air. A single crank controls the complex structure of gears and mechanisms which were designed to flow as organically as possible.

A non-trivial amount of time was spent watching and studying videos of turtles swimming,” explains Hugger. “Getting the motions of Carapace to closely resemble the motions of real turtles was a true challenge. Countless hours were spent refining the sculpture’s motion to be as lifelike as possible, even before any mechanisms were developed to drive those motions.”

Hugger has also developed a hummingbird in addition to several abstract wood sculptures. You can see these works in action on his website and Youtube.

 

 



Art

Theo Jansen’s New Strandbeest Roams the Beach Like an Undulating Caterpillar

August 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Earlier this summer artist Theo Jansen (previously) revealed UMINAMI, a new addition to his series of wind-powered strandbeests. The kinetic sculpture is much thinner than previous iterations, and is made without hinging joints so it does not need to be lubricated when roving along the sandy shore. The fabricated creature seems to imitate the motion of a crawling caterpillar, producing an undulating movement as it sweeps across the beach. You can watch other strandbeests in motion on Youtube. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Design

Pleated Garments Inspired by Birds in Flight by Iris van Herpen

July 10, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Syntopia is the latest haute couture collection from Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen. The line of beautifully pleated garments explores the increasing convergence of our organic bodies and inorganic elements of technology, while also incorporating designs inspired by birds in flight.

“As a former dancer, the transformation within movement has hypnotized me,” explained van Herpen in a statement about Syntopia. “For this collection I looked closely at the minutiae of bird flight and the intricate echoing forms within avian motion.”

Transparent silk organza was pleated and liquid-coated for several pieces in the collection. This technique slowed down the movement of the garment, more closely imitating the flapping pattern of a bird’s wings. This was also the inspiration for a kinetic installation made in collaboration with Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta of Studio Drift (previously). The work, “In 20 Steps,” was formed from twenty delicate glass tubes which peaked and bowed above the runway in succession, moving in synchronicity each model.

Other dress forms were made from the sound wave patterns of specific birds. These noises were visualized and laser cut into mylar, black cotton, red organza and transparent black acrylic sheets and then layered like feathers to create a cohesive piece. You can see the entire range of avian-inspired clothing from van Herpen’s recent collection on her website and in the video below. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art Colossal

Take a Tour of ‘Inflatable’ at San Francisco’s Exploratorium

June 27, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Guardian of the Disphotic by Shih Chieh Huang (2018). All images © Exploratorium

The Exploratorium summer show, curated by Colossal, has filled the museum and exploration space to the roof—literally!—with eye-catching, mind-boggling, and joy-inducing interactive inflatable art. Take a peek at the exhibit, which includes artwork by Shih Chieh Huang, Jason Hackenwerth, Amanda Parer, Jimmy Kuehnle, and Pneuhaus. ‘Inflatable’ is on view through September 3, 2018 in San Francisco. Find out more on the Exploratorium website.

Cauldron Veil by Jason Hackenwerth (2018)

Cauldron Veil by Jason Hackenwerth (2018)

Fantastic Planet by Amanda Parer (2016)

Fantastic Planet by Amanda Parer (2016)

Bau(ncy) Haus by Jimmy Kuehnle (2018)

Bau(ncy) Haus by Jimmy Kuehnle (2018)

Compound Camera by Pneuhaus (2017)

Compound Camera by Pneuhaus (2017)