kinetic

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Art

Sculptural Kinetic Lifeforms by Choe U-Ram Sway and Flutter in Hypnotic Motion

January 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

With assistance from embedded CPU motors, Seoul-based artist Choe U-Ram (previously) mimics the lithe movements of animals and plants with his mesmerizing kinetic sculptures. The large-scale pieces are often suspended from the ceiling and illuminated by LED lights that cast glimmering reflections on the metallic components.

Included in his most recent works is the frayed, Tyvek-coated sculpture titled “One,” which imitates the lifecycle of a flower as it opens to a bright, full bloom before retreating to a smaller, darker form associated with decay. “Orbis” and “Song of the Sun” conjure more animalistic motions that evoke long fins gliding through the water and flapping wings, respectively, although the latter’s petal-like elements produce shadows that fill the gallery space with silhouettes of thick foliage.

Watch more of the artist’s sculptural creatures in action on his site and YouTube.

 

 

 



Craft

Creatures Fly and Swim through Lush Ecosystems in Kinetic Miniatures by Penny Thomson

August 27, 2021

Grace Ebert

Fish writhing through the ocean, colorful butterflies taking flight, and owls leaving their perch are a few of the creatures featured in Penny Thomson’s miniature ecosystems. The Sheffield-born artist deftly captures marine and land animals’ movement in her kinetic sculptures that operate with simple hand-cranks. Coated in moss, sprawling branches, and other foliage, the whimsical works are tiny renditions of their real-life counterparts. Thomson offers the lively creations on Etsy, but they sell out quickly so watch for shop announcements on her Instagram to snag one.

 

 

 



Design

Earthrise: A Striking Collection by Iris Van Herpen Recycles Plastic Waste into Sculptural Garments

July 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Iris Van Herpen, shared with permission

Iris Van Herpen (previously) continues to blend fashion and science in her collection of dizzying garments that explore the fragility of marine ecosystems. Earthrise, which debuted at Paris Haute Couture Week on July 5, is comprised of 19 gowns teeming with the Dutch designer’s signature layers and structural flourishes. Exquisite and elaborately constructed, the garments seamlessly merge aquatic motifs and colors into a dynamic collection focused on preserving the environment in both aesthetic and material.

Five of the designs, including the hand-cut gradient dress shown below, are made entirely of recycled plastics sourced from Parley for the Oceans (previously), which is working to protect the planet’s bodies of water from pollution and further degradation. Other pieces in the collection are the product of collaborations with artists like Rogan Brown (previously), who brought his laser-cut reliefs resembling coral reefs and microbial structures to the lace-like gowns, while Casey Curran (previously) produced kinetic stripes that ripple across one dress in a mesmerizing blue-to-white gradient. Artist James Merry (previously) is responsible for the futuristic metal jewelry, while Eichi Matsunaga created the long, bulbous nails designs.

Van Herpen shares more of the meteorological and biology-based designs on her Instagram, and you also might enjoy Phillip Lim and Charlotte McCurdy’s algae sequins.

 

 

 



Art

A Circle of Light Beams Undulates in an Interactive Kinetic Installation by Scale Collective

April 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

An undulating kinetic artwork by Scale Collective blends organic movement and architectural forms in a mesmerizing installation. Created for the Constellations Festival in Metz, France, “Flux” is comprised of 48 beams of light that stretch 1.5-meters-long and are spaced 40 centimeters apart. Each is connected to a single mechanism that’s motorized and controlled by viewers through an interface, allowing for a synchronized performance of twisting and coiling patterns. “The formal multiplication of these lines coupled with micro variations of phases, time delays, speeds, and amplitudes allows us to sculpt an object 20 meters long, alive and evolving with a cyclical back and forth movement,” the French collective says. See more of the group’s dynamic projects on its site, Vimeo, and Instagram. (via Core 77)

 

All images via Scale Collective

 

 



Art

Dialogo: A Frenzied Short Film Translates Indiscernible Audio into Kinetic Sound Sculptures

December 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

Juxtaposing natural elements and mechanics, “Dialogo” harnesses the frenetic, indiscernible components of language into a synesthetic experience. A mix of stop-motion and live-action, the short film features entirely hand-crafted sculptures by the Madrid-based design studio blo que. Each motorized work translates human utterings into movement, whether through an undulating tube of neon or oscillating florals, generating new associations in a conversation between the senses.

To represent the original audio in a visual manner, blo que converts the speech waveforms into animation curves, which subsequently mobilizes the sculpture’s engines. “This is the voice of nature and order or the control of what cannot be controlled,” the studio says. “The passing of time in nature (freezing, rotting, etc.) is connected to the time of sound reproduction. This bond creates relationships between human emotions, language, and nature.”

blo que details the lengthy creation process for the film on its site, and you can follow future projects that merge the tangible and digital on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Sound Artist Zimoun Channels Frenetic Movement in Expansive Kinetic Sculptures and Installations

November 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

Swiss sound artist Zimoun (previously) harnesses the power of quick, chaotic movements in his large-scale installations and kinetic sculptures. Each artwork is composed of simple materials like cardboard boxes, wooden dowels, and cotton balls, among other common objects. Zimoun assembles multiples of the same configuration—think teetering sticks and metal washers suspended on a wire—and motorizes one portion, causing them to rattle back and forth.

Because each component is made by hand, they have slight differences that prevent them from synchronizing, despite all the motors being connected to a single current. The frenzied movements contrast the calming, whirring sounds the artworks emit, which mimic raindrops or a repetitive drum. This juxtaposition is just one example of the many comparisons the artist draws: chaos vs. order, mass vs. individual, simplicity vs. complexity, and manufactured vs. organic.

Considering this theme, Zimoun names each piece by listing the materials used to connect the discrete components and the whole. For example, a recent project that forms a square on the floor (shown below) is titled “1944 prepared dc-motors, mdf panels 72 x 72cm, metal discs Ø 8cm, 2020.” “In my work, I do not try to transport specific associations but rather to create atmospheric spaces and states that invite us to observe, think, and reflect on various levels,” he says.

In the compilation video above, Zimoun showcases a variety of the sculptures and installations from his extensive body of work, many of which you can explore individually on Vimeo and follow on Instagram.

 

“1944 prepared dc-motors, mdf panels 72 x 72cm, metal discs Ø 8cm, 2020.” All images © Zimoun, shared with permission

“1944 prepared dc-motors, mdf panels 72 x 72cm, metal discs Ø 8cm, 2020”

 

 

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