Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Article on Bay Area kinetic sculptor Nemo Gould

The Daily Californian recently ran a nice article on kinetic sculptor Nemo Gould.

From the article:
Gould's sculptures utilize nearly all "found" articles, synthesizing discarded objects and forgotten antiques with mechanical movement. Bringing art and technology together in whimsical sculptures, Gould pulls from science fiction and comic book mythology from when he was a little boy. For all his professional, eloquent articulation of what his work represents, Nemo Gould is at play in his studio-infusing his anthropomorphic figures with child-like imagination. With sincerity and a smirk, Gould declares, "I take silly very seriously."

Here is a link the full article on Nemo Gould at The Daily Californian.


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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Solar Powered Kinetic Animal Sculptures

Enjoy this mesmerizing mechanical sculpture inspired by the large scale works of Theo Jansen.


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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wind-up Meccano bird sculpture by Aaron Ristau

Check out this automata sculpture by Aaron Ristau made from Meccano toy parts! The bird bodies are parts from antique hair curlers and the wings made of Mylar. A crank allows you to wind-up the device which will run for about a minute.

See more great sculptures by Aaron Ristau at aaronristau.com.


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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Kinetic sculpture talk & exhibit by Brad Litwin

Philadelphia based, kinetic sculptor, Bradley N. Litwin, will give a multimedia presentation about the evolution of his sculptural work. He will also be displaying of several pieces -- some not yet seen in public.

The event takes place at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts, held and sponsored by the Artists’ Cultural Exchange (ACX). Admission is free.

Date: 04/06/2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location:
Cheltenham Center for the Arts
439 Ashbourne Road
Cheltenham, Pennsylvania 19012

For more info: www.cheltenhamarts.org


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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Welded Flea - kinetic metal sculpture

Andy over at the Workshop Shed blog has made this great metal flea sculpture. Take a look!


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Friday, March 05, 2010

OK Go - video for song 'This Too Shall Pass'

I am sure this video by the band OK GO has been around the internet a lot lately. I don't care! It's too cool to miss.


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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Homunculus - kinetic sculpture by Nemo Gould


In keeping with one of his favorite themes, here is a new sculpture by Nemo Gould featuring a little figure operating inside a bigger one. This kinetic sculpture incorporates voltage meters, a radio tuner, lamp parts, candlestick parts, table legs, shoe forms, door hardware, wind instruments, trophy figure arms, vacuum tube, a tobacco pipe, thermostat parts, ukulele knobs, velvet, motors, and LEDs. Wow!

See more kinetic sculptures by Nemo Gould on his web site.


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Friday, February 26, 2010

Automata creations by Viktor Plotnikov

Check out these fantastic creations by Russian artist Viktor Plotnikov.


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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rotapult - an astonishing machine by Brad Litwin

I don't have words for how cool this kinetic sculpture is; just watch the video.

See more sculptures by Brad Litwin on his web site.

[ Thanks Dave! ]


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Friday, February 19, 2010

Motorized kinetic sculpture with 4 ball catapults

I have a feeling this video of a crafty piece of kinetic sculpture by Brad Litwin has made the blog rounds before. Even if you've seen it before, it is worth another look. Clever, playful...and precise!

See more kinetic sculptures by the multi-talented Brad Litwin on is web site.

[ Thanks Tom! ]


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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Superplexus - absolutely huge 3D puzzle

The Superplexus - absolutely huge 3D puzzle
If you've got $30,000 and a sweater-vest, you might be the in the target demographic for this giant version of the Perplexus 3D puzzle.

About this monstrous puzzle:
This is the three-dimensional spherical labyrinth that challenges the limits of your manual dexterity and spatial understanding as you maneuver a 5/8" wooden marble through its entire course. The Superplexus is a complex network of chicanes, multi-planar hairpin turns, spirals, and staircases--even a vortex. Hand made from 3- and 6-ply Finnish birch that form the track, over 400 hours are involved in its construction. The labyrinth is set inside a 36" diameter acrylic sphere affixed to a Jatoba base using a stainless steel gimbaled mount that allows you to tilt the sphere in any direction to guide the marble.

You can learn more about the huge Superplexus puzzle over at Hammacher Schlemmer.

If you're short on cash (or the sweater vest) you could consider the regular Perplexus Maze Game for a mere $22.


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Friday, February 05, 2010

Elegant spiral ball lifter and spiral ball run


From the video description:
After being ferried to the top by a spiral elevator, a ball ricochets down an octagonal spiral amidst a cacophony of clacking sounds.

See more at mechanical marvels at www.mechanicalcuriosities.com


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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kinetica Art Fair 2010 - London, Feb. 4th - 7th, 2010

Kinetica Art Fair 2010
Kinetica Art Fair 2010 developed by Kinetica Museum will take place in London from February 4th to 7th. Over 25 galleries and organizations specializing in kinetic, electronic, and new media art are taking part and over 150 artists exhibiting.

From the Kinetica 2010 press release:
A family of holographic light beings, sculpting and drawing robots, an orchestral milk float, a giant vertical electronic wave and a special feature exhibition of work from the masters of kinetic art and the groundbreaking Cybernetic Serendipity show, are just some of the incredible exhibits at Kinetica Art Fair 2010. Kinetica Art Fair takes place from 4 - 7 February 2010 at the P3 space in London and is the UK's only art fair dedicated to kinetic, robotic, sound, light and time-based art. Art that has a life of its own, talks, workshops, performances and more create an art fair like no other.

Visit the Kinetica 2010 web site for more information about this amazing event.


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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

PARABOLA mechanical sculpture with wood gears

Here's a charming kinetic sculpture by Brett Dickins titled Parabola. The free-standing mechanical sculpture features wooden gears and matte black wooden framework and is driven by electric motor. It shoots a ping-pong ball up and out to land on a slanted platform that causes it to bounce neatly back into the machine. There is something very satisfying in that cycle.

See more artwork by Brett Dickins on his YouTube channel.


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Friday, January 15, 2010

Arthur Ganson's motorized walking wishbone

Here is a great video of one of my favorite kinetic sculptures by Arthur Ganson. Who knew a wishbone could be so evocative?

See more kinetic sculptures by the amazing Arthur Ganson on his web site.


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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Huge house-wide Rube Goldberg contraption

Huge house-wide Rube Goldberg contraption
I'm not sure if this video has been kicking around the internet for a while or not, but it's new to me. These ingenious folks have created a Rube Goldberg machine made out of familiar household items, clothing, dishware, string, CDs, and lots of black duct tape. My favorite section is the chess game sequence. Brilliant!

Here is a link to video of the Rube Goldberg contraption on the Baynham & Tyers web site.

[ Thanks Tom! ]


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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Muse Descending A Staircase - kinetic sculpture

Here's a fun piece of kinetic sculpture by featuring wooden gears, steps, an electric motor and several ping pong balls.


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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mechanical sculpture featuring wooden gears

Another excellent mechanical sculpture by Brett Dickins featuring wooden gears and other mechanical parts -- all made from wood!

See more videos of mechanical sculptures by Brett Dickins.


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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wooden clock sculptures by James Borden

I had the great pleasure of meeting and speaking with James Borden, creator of mechanical weight-driven clocks last weekend at the Paradise City Arts Festival. "Clock" doesn't quite sum up what Borden creates however. His pieces are large, artistic expressions of time described in beautiful hardwoods, long graceful curves, and inventive structural configurations.

From the artist's site:
In his Timeshapes, James Borden presents a different vision of the passage of time: Less frenetic and urgent than the normal ticking of a clock; slower paced; peaceful; playful; something easier to live with.

Here is a close up of a mechanism from one of his pieces:

To see more wooden clock sculptures by James Borden visit the Timeshapes web site.


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Friday, November 13, 2009

The amazing kinetic sculpture of the late René Ach

The amazing kinetic sculpture of René Ach
Sadly, I have only just learned of the remarkably talented kinetic sculptor, René Ach. The link below is to a long, well-made video that shows the tremendous skill and artistry possessed by the late artist.

Here is a link to a long QuickTime video of the work of René Ach.

[ Thanks Phil Sing! ]


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Saturday, November 07, 2009

5 ft tall wall-mounted rolling ball sculpture - 3 tracks

Check out this large wall-mounted rolling ball track with three distinct courses for the balls to travel. Excellent work!


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Thursday, November 05, 2009

The White Series by artist Casey Curran

Take a few minutes to soak in this new series of wire-based automata by artist Casey Curran. The 11 kinetic sculptures were created around the idea of cultural detritus serving as a basis for micro-ecologies. Like the artist's previous works, the organic feel makes Curran's work truly distinctive.

See more kinetic art by Casey Curran at caseycurran.com.


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Sunday, November 01, 2009

"The Beholder" - creepy mechanical sculpture

Check out the wonderfully unsettling effect of organic and robotic elements in this kinetic sculpture made with found objects by Nemo Gould.

See more of Nemo Gould's work on his web site.


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Friday, October 30, 2009

8 new sculptures from kinetic artist Nemo Gould

Kinetic sculpture artist Nemo Gould has announced that he has 8 new sculptures to share on his website -- one of which is shown in the video above.

Visit Nemo Gould's website to see his 8 new sculptures.


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Friday, October 02, 2009

Drumming fingers - mechanized impatience

Drumming fingers - mechanized impatience
Artist Nik Ramage has created a mechanical copy of his own hand that continually drums its fingers.

From the the Dezeen blog:
Called Fingers, and featuring resin fingers cast from Ramage's own, it will be shown by kinetic brand Laikingland at 100% Design at Earls Court, London from 24-27 September.

You will recall the Laikingland are the people that produce the Applause Machine.

Here's the Dezeen post with more information and images of Fingers by Nik Ramage.


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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Brad Litwin: A Collection of Mechanical Conundra

Brad Litwin - A Collection of Mechanical Conundra
Brad Litwin's upcoming show is titled Kinetic works: A Collection of Mechanical Conundra. The exhibit starts early next month in Philadelphia. If you will be in the area, you won't want to miss seeing his amazing mechanical creations in person.

From the exhibit description:
Bradley N.Litwin has created works of kinetic sculpture for nearly thirty years. His work draws on the accumulated and synergistic experiences of having worked in manufacturing, entertainment, and multimedia production, as a designer, engineer, animator, photographer, film-maker, performer, prototype maker, and eternal experimenter.

Kinetic works: A Collection of Mechanical Conundra
Date: October 4 through October 16, 2009
Reception: Saturday, October 10, 6pm -8pm
Location:
Tyler School of Art, Temple University
2001 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122


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Monday, September 21, 2009

Jacaranda - sculpture by Jim Jenkins

Here is a video of the latest mechanical sculpture by artist Jim Jenkins. He's programmed the Arduino microcontroller to control the choreography of the mechanical birds.

See more from artist Jim Jenkins on his web site.


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Monday, September 07, 2009

Video interview with kinetic artist Stan Bennett

While vacationing in Northern California, artist Aaron Kramer happened into a museum that featured the work of a man named Stan Bennett -- whose studio was on site. After "talking shop" for a while, Aaron recorded this impromptu video interview with Bennett who has been making wire-based kinetic sculptures and rolling-ball tracks for 40 years.

See more kinetic sculptures by Stan Bennett on his web site.

[ Thanks Aaron! ]


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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Making Mobiles: a step-by-step instruction book

Making Mobiles: a step-by-step instruction book
Here is a book that provides practical step-by-step instructions for making horizontally balanced mobiles. Though only 80 page long, the book covers materials, tools, designing, fabricating, assembly, painting, and hanging of mobiles.

Product Description
...19 carefully written chapters and 190 color photographs let you see and understand all the stages toward creating your mobiles. He even shows you how to fix a mistake and pack it for shipping. By following Bruces steps and positive attitude, hours of fun and challenge will be rewarded with art you are proud of.


Here is the link for Making Mobiles


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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Book - Device Volume II: RECONSTRUCTED

Book - Device Volume II: RECONSTRUCTED
Featuring 16 sculptors with a mechanical fascination, the newly publsihed book "Device Volume II: RECONSTRUCTED" is sure to be a treat for those who love the combination of art and machine.

From the book description:
Using popular culture imagery and objects to explore such themes as mythology, nature, inner fantasy and technology. Artists featured include Greg Brotherton, Steve Brudniak, Christopher Conte, Nemo Gould, Stéphane Halleux, Tom Haney, Kris Kuksi, Mike Libby, Paul Loughridge, Michihiro Matsuoka, Jeremy Mayer, Rich Muller, Olivier Pauwels, Andrew Smith, Lewis Tardy, and Jud Turner, with the forwarded written by Gareth Branwyn.

You can order the book from the Device Gallery online store.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Assembled Artifacts exhibit at Device Gallery

Assembled Artifacts exhibit at Device Gallery
A show title 'Assembled Artifacts' opens this evening, Saturday July 18 at 6:30 at The Device Gallery located at 1815-B Main Street San Deigo, California.

The show features work by:
Christopher Conte, Stephane Halleux, Michihuro Matsuoka, Jeremy Mayer, Rich Muller, Nemo Gould, Olivier Pauwels, Lewis Tardy and Jud Turner

Here is the link for more information on Assembled Artifacts exhibit.


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The imaginary universe of artist Robert Coudray

The Poète Ferrailleur (scrap merchant poet) Museum at La Ville Stéphant, houses an imaginary universe created by a French artist Robert Coudray of France.

See more by this artist on Robert Coudray's web site.

[ Thanks philsing! ]


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Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Applause Machine soon in five new colors!

Martin Smith and the good folks over at Laikingland are putting the finishing touches on a batch of their famous Applause Machines in a new range of colors.

The new colors are:
As with the original colors, each new color will be limited to just 250 machines. Numbers 1 to 10 will be available to pre-order at the end of August ready for delivery at the end of September 2009.

The Applause Machines are available directly from Laikingland's online shop.


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Monday, July 06, 2009

How to make your own Rolling Ball Sculpture

Here is one of several nicely made all metal rolling ball track sculptures by Matthew Gaulden.

Check out his site to more of his rolling ball sculptures -- both large and small. Be sure to visit his page dedicated to How to make Rolling Ball Sculpture. It is very informative!


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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The mobiles and automata of Steve DeSpirito

The mobiles and automata of Steve DeSpirito
Artist Steve DeSpirito creates hanging mobiles that use a balance between gravity and gentle air currents to add life and motion to his pieces.

From the artist's statement:
I like to think of my mobiles as a reminder that although life is ever-changing, one can always find beauty and joy in it. All one needs to do is stay balanced and bend slightly with the breeze.

Quite so. He has also created a few hand cranked automata like the one shown above entitled "Winged Thingy".

Check out all of the kinetic art by Steve DeSpirito on his new blog.


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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Giant girl puppet on the move again in France

I've posted in the past about the giant marionette of a little girl created by a group called Royal de Luxe. Brought to life with the aid of cranes, block-and-tackle, and a team of puppeters, the girl was on the move again last month in a piece called "La géante du Titanic et le scaphandrier".

Here is a link with photographs and more information (in French) on La géante du Titanic et le scaphandrier.

Shown here is a video segment of one portion of the performance.

[ Thanks Bonne-voglie! ]


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Friday, June 05, 2009

The Hand of Man - Giant Robotic Hand

By far the most impressive mechanical sculpture I witnessed at this years Maker Faire 2009, was Christian Ristow's piece called Hand of Man. The giant hand is HUGE and fully functional via a haptic interface. It's hard to describe such a familiar thing when it is seen on such a massive and powerful scale. Check out this video for an idea of what I am talking about.

Learn more about the artist, Christian Ristow, on his web site.

[ Found via a post on the Make Magazine Blog ]


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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Greg Brotherton on kinetic sculpture, Pendulum

For me, one of the highlights of last weekend's Maker Faire 2009 was the exhibit put on by the Applied Kinetic Arts group. I'm not alone in this opinion for they walked away from the event with 8 Editor's Choice Awards. Here Greg Brotherton answers questions about his piece 'Pendulum'.

Learn more about Applied Kinetic Arts on their web site.


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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kinetic sculpture showcase at Maker Faire 2009

Maker Faire 2009 is coming up this weekend May 30th and 31st at the San Mateo fairgrounds in San Mateo CA. If you are anywhere near the area be sure and check it out.

Kinetic artists CTP and Nemo Gould have organized an exhibit featuring kinetic sculptures by various artists. This will be their largest selection of artists and their largest amount of space at Maker Faire to date.

Sculptures in the exhibit will include work by:

Mark Galt

Here is where you can learn more about the upcoming Maker Faire 2009.


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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Eclectic flying metal horse kinetic sculpure

I don't know much about this sculpture other than it is by artist Grigorev Viktor. That it is a wonderful assemblage of gears, metal, screws, wheels, propeller, motion, and sculpture is enough for me; I hope you feel the same. Enjoy!

[ Thanks philsing! ]


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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hand-cranked gear sculpture by Bill Durovchic

Hand-cranked gear sculpture by Bill Durovchic
Take a look at the stunning mechanical beauty of Bill Durovchic's kinetic sculpture. Shown here is a piece entitled Magnetic Gear Box . The sculpture has a 5-inch diameter steel plate with 3-inch tall black anodized aluminum legs, and some 30 brass gears! When you turn crank, the gears rotate on magnetic spindles. You can reconfigure the spindles to change patterns. Very, very nice.

Visit Bill Durovchic's web site for more information and photographs of his work.

[ Thanks philsing! ]


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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Arthur Ganson @TED: Sculpture that's truly moving

Here is another amazing TED lecture -- this one from one of the greats of kinetic sculpture, Arthur Ganson. The video is about 15 minutes long, and worth every second.

More about Arthur Ganson from the TED web site:
A modern-day creator of "twittering machines," Arthur Ganson uses simple, plain materials to build witty mechanical art. But the wit is not simply about Rube Goldberg-ian chain-reaction gags (though you'll find a few of those). His work examines the quiet drama of physical motion, whether driven by a motor or by the actions of the viewer. Notions of balance, of rising and falling, of action and reaction and consequence, play themselves out in wire and steel and plastic.

Ganson has been an artist-in-residence at MIT (where the Lemelson-MIT Award Program named him an Inventor of the Week, and where his show "Gestural Engineering" is ongoing) and has shown his work at art and science museums around the world -- including a current, held-over show at the phaeno in Wolfsburg, Germany.


[ Thanks Richard and Steve! ]


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Sunday, April 19, 2009

HUGE cam used in wall-mounted kinetic art piece

Here is some video of a GIANT cam incorporated into a piece of kinetic sculpture.

The piece may be called Parallelotree and the Mechanical Wind, though I am not certain of this. I am certain that it was created by kinetic artist Aaron Geman and was shown at Mercury20 Gallery in Oakland, CA.

See more of Aaron Geman's kinetic sculpture on his web site.

[ Thanks to CTP! ]


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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Giant metal kinetic praying mantis sculpture

Kinetic artist, Nemo Gould, will be part of the upcoming IT MOVED show in San Diego we told you about the other day. Here is some video one of his recent sculptures, Praying Mantis.

Especially cool is that he has also created a step-by-step guide showing how he build this stunning piece.

Giant metal kinetic praying mantis sculpture
Here is link for the Giant Kinetic Praying Mantis Sculpture from found materials on the Instructables web site.


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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

IT MOVED kinetic art exhibition at Device Gallery

IT MOVED kinetic art exhibition at Device Gallery
The Device Gallery's upcoming showed, IT MOVED, is an exploration of the kinetic art form. The show will feature the work of Greg Brotherton, Benjamin Cowden, Tom Haney, Nemo Gould and Reuben Margolin.

Time:
The Opening Reception will be Saturday, April 25th, 2009 from 6:30 - 9:30PM. The show itself will run from April 25 - June 20, 2009.

Location:
Device Gallery
1815 B Main Street
San Diego CA 92113

Visit the Device Gallery web site for more information on this show.


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Monday, April 06, 2009

Other cool mechanical sculpture by Casey Curran

Check out five more great pieces by artist Casey Curran called (in order of appearance): Law of Karma, Dick and Jane Have a New Game, Drawing on the Self, Green Pastures, and Distopia.


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Thursday, April 02, 2009

'The Twittering Machine' - metal automata birds

Check out this huge hand-cranked automata bird installation made from stainless steel vegetable steamer baskets, machine screws, nuts, threaded rod, water pipe, couplings, steel, wood and a crank. Excellent!

[ Thanks philsing! ]

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Quandary - kinetic wood sculpture by David Roy

Soak in the hypnotic motion of this kinetic wooden sculpture by David C. Roy. Entitled Quandary, this is one of a limited edition of 95.

See this an more amazing moving wooden sculptures at Wood That Works.


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Monday, March 16, 2009

Video clip of The Applause Machine in action

Here is a great video clip of The Applause Machine (designed by artist Martin Smith) in action!

Applause machines are available in orange, green, red, white and black. They may be purchased from Laikingland.


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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Artist Andy Hazell's web site with metal automata

A dedicated reader of The Automata / Automaton Blog was kind enough to draw our attention to the relatively new web site of artist Andy Hazell.

Among the many things this artist does (including photography, sculpture, and film) are very nice tin automata like the one shown here entitled 'Monday Morning'.

Check out all of the cool creations on Andy Hazell's web site.

[ Thanks Sergio! ]


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Saturday, March 07, 2009

A new Mechanical Confection every day!

Artist Gina Kamentsky has set a challenge for herself for the next few weeks. She will be creating one of her signature 'Mechanical Confections' every day she is in her studio (about three days per week). She is aiming to create 10 to 12 new small works.

Not only will this be fun to follow, but it is also a good chance to own some interesting work at a very reasonable price!

Gina Kamentsky on this project:
I'm calling this The $149.99 Challenge, as I will be selling these on-line for a fixed low low price. Every day, After I'm done, I will shoot the work and create a small video which will be posted on the On the Workbench blog. The work will be available on a first come first served basis ( via paypal or check ).

Here's the link to Gina's On the Workbench blog.


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kinetica Art Fair exhibit opens February 27th, 2009

Kinetica Art Fair exhibit 2009
Kinetica Art Fair is the UK's first art fair dedicated to kinetic, robotic, sound, light and time-based art. The exhibit opens in London on Friday 27 February, 2009.
More than 25 galleries and organisations specialising in kinetic, electronic and new media art are taking part with over 150 exhibiting artists. The Fair will be like no other with living, moving, speaking and performing art.

The Fair provides unparalleled opportunities for the public and collectors alike to view and buy work from this thriving international movement and to participate in the programme of talks, workshops and performances.

Here is the link to the site for Kinetica Art Fair 2009.


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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

'Oceania' kinetic art by Casey Curran

Take a look at the amazing hand-cranked automata of Casey Curran. The artist uses twisted wire of various materials to create very original and organic forms. There is no welding or soldering involved -- just twisted wire! Kudos all around!

Casey Curran's work can be seen in person at Gallery IMA in Seattle, Washington.


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Thursday, February 12, 2009

7 new Mechanical Confections by Gina Kamentsky

Gina Kamentsky has announced that there are seven new Mechanical Confections on her site.

From her announcement:In the wind-ups section we have hip hoppity windup, "The Boom Bip", a handcranked piece featuring a mysterious Canary surveying her world " Bird Watching", "100 Turns is Heavy" featuring a cool double ratchet mechanism, obscure lab device " The Inside Joke" and "Hack" which required quite a bit of hacking to create. Moving on the wall work there are two new pieces; ode to spring (please get here soon! ), "Cherry Blossom Time" and "Masters of the Obvious" which was featured on the blog last month.

Each work has a great video showing everything in action.

Here is the link for the Wind up Mechanical Confections and here is the link for the Wall Work Mechanical Confections.


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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The kinetic wave sculptures of Reuben Margolin

Here is a wonderful profile of kinetic sculptor Reuben Morgolin from the new Make: Television program.

You can learn more about Reuben Margolin at http://www.reubenmargolin.com/.


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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

'Masters of the Obvious' - hand-cranked sculpture

Check out this video of the newly finished hand-cranked kinetic sculpture by Gina Kamentsky entitled Masters of the Obvious.

In her recent posts I made a discovery: I'm not the only one looking to Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements for inspiration!

Not only is the piece a lot of fun, but she documented much of its construction on her blog.


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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dale Mathis solo art show in Las Vegas

Mechanical artist, Dale Mathis, will be showing dynamic art pieces in his first solo show. The show, called "Steam Funk", opens on January 31st, 2009 in Las Vegas.

Details on the Dale Mathis solo show:
Oh, My Godard Gallery
Planet Hollywood Hotel, Las Vegas
Saturday, January 31st from 5-9pm
Free and open to the public

Visit his web site for more about Dale Mathis and his art.


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Monday, January 12, 2009

A new kinetic robot sculpture from Nemo Gould

The Performer kinetic robot sculpture from Nemo Gould
Artist Nemo Gould has a new piece to share. Shown here is the new sculpture, entitled 'Performer #2'. Details about the piece are now posted on his site and the sculpture itself will be on display later this month at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa CA.

Here is a link to the Performer #2 page on Nemo Gould's Site.


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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gina Kamentsky's 'On the Workbench' Blog

Gina Kamentsky's 'On the Workbench' Blog
Just a few days ago multi-talented artist Gina Kamentsky started a blog entitled 'On the Workbench'.

From her first post:
I've been cranking out some interesting new work in studio and have added some new features to the Mechanical Confections website including On the Workbench, a blog where I'll be updating progress on new kinetic sculpture work as it evolves. In addition, this section will feature updates on gallery shows, new work posted to this site, links to resources and inspiration for mechanized sculpture.

I look forward to following along as she creates her clever creations!

Here's the link to Gina Kamentsky's On the Workbench Blog.


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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Theo Jansen: The art of creating creatures

While we are on the subject of my new heroes (see yesterday's post about Clayton Boyer), I just saw video from one of the TED Talks featuring Theo Jansen. I misunderstood the scale, scope, and beauty of his vision. While I may still not know all of it, this video has given me a much greater appreciation for his attempt to create large-scale mechanical life-forms that roam wind-swept beaches. Truly an impressive vision and monumental feat.

[ Thanks S.C.! ]


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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Corkscrew by Rob Higgs - Fantastic machine

The Corkscrew by Rob HiggsIn case you missed this on various blogs the other day, I really must ask that you check out this machine.

Mechanical sculptor Rob Higgs assembled an machine that opens a wine bottle and pours a glass. He uses many old parts, some as is, some modified and recasts them in bronze. The result is astounding.

Here is an article on The Corkscrew. Here is a link to a video of The Corkscrew by Rob Higgs.

This story comes to us by way of BoingBoing.net.

[ Thanks to Jim Jenkins! ]


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Friday, December 19, 2008

Steam-powered kinetic sculpture made of glass

Steam-powered kinetic sculpture
Just when I think I've got a handle on the bounds of human ingenuity in the domain of automata, mechanical toys, and mechanical sculpture -- my eyes are opened anew. Consider: a mechanical kinetic sculpture driven by steam...and made of glass!

Shown here is one of several "Glass Engines" built by glass artist Bandhu Scott Dunham. The form of power, the various shapes, the smooth motion, the assorted colors, the levels of translucence, the inherent fragility of the material itself.

I may have used the term "astonishing" on this blog before. I don't think I had a suitable frame of reference for the word until now.

Check out the Salusa Glassworks site for more images and QuickTime movies of Bandhu's Glass Engines and a hand-cranked marble track (and WHAT A MARBLE!)


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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vollis Simpson's windmill-powered whirligigs

Some time ago, I posted a YouTube video about Vollis Simpson, a man who has made a park full of windmills and whirligigs. There is a great web site with more about the man behind it all. The site also features a detailed virtual tour of his wind-powered mechanical park.

Here's a link to From Windmills to Whirligigs brought to us by the Science Museum of Minnesota.


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Monday, November 10, 2008

Applied Kinetic Arts group show in San Francisco

Applied Kinetic Arts group show  in San Francisco
Applied Kinetic Arts is a name used by a group of talented artists who share similar approaches to making art. The group includes the following artists:

* Nemo Gould
* Reuben Margolin
* Christopher Palmer
* Mark Galt
* Benjamin Cowden

They will have a combined show at the Y2Y gallery in San Francisco. Each artist will be contributing a few pieces. The Y2Y Gallery is located at 251 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA, USA. The show will run from November 21, 2008 through January 23, 2009. The opening reception will be on Friday November 21, 2008 6-9PM.

Here are the details of the show.


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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Roland Emett sculpture exhibit - Ontario, Canada

Kinetic sculptures by Roland Emett are put on display once a year during the holiday season at the Ontario Science Centre.

Learn more about the Ontario Science Centre.

[ Thanks Keith! ]


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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Paul Boyer Automata and Kinetic Creations Video

I had seen video of some of Paul Boyer's automata, but I had no idea of this man's creative diversity! He has created plenty of motorized automata, graceful wire creations, a wind calliope, kinetic sculptures, and even a drum playing marble-track machine.

Here is a nice long video taking you on a virtual tour of The Paul Boyer Museum of Animated Carvings in Belleville Kansas.

A remarkable body of work.

[ Thanks Osmyn! ]


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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Steve Gerberich: Springs Sprockets & Pulleys

Steve Gerberich: Springs Sprockets & PulleysIf you will be in Iowa between September to December 2008, check out the exhibit of the work of Steve Gerberich at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. Made from old machines, kitchen utensils, junk, lighting fixtures, medical supplies, toys, and figurines, his work blends mechanical motion and keen inventiveness.

See more kinetic sculpture by Steve Gerberich on his web site.

This news comes to us by way of a Cabaret Mechanical Theatre blog.


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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Interview - Arthur Ganson's Influence on 2nd Artist

Jeff Lieberman is a musician, photographer, and robotics expert. He is also the host of "Time Warp" -- a show on the Discovery Channel. He speaks about his encounter as a teenager with the work of Arthur Ganson during this Studio 360 interveiw. This a very nice, candid take on a talented artist by another artist.

Here is the interview for you to hear:

[ Thanks Aaron! ]


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Friday, September 12, 2008

Gina Kamentsky Films and Mechanical Art Demo

Coke Buddha by Gina Kamentsky
This Sunday, September 14th at 2:00PM, artist Gina Kamentsky will be at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA (USA) presenting a line up of her animated film work, followed by a live and kicking demonstration of Mechanical Confections sculptures in the gallery. Shown here is her wind up sculpture titled Coke Buddha.

Among the films she will be presenting is Einstein's Riddle which recently won Best Narrative Short at Animation Block Party in New York. Congrats!


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Friday, September 05, 2008

New Blog: "Play and Art with Mechanics"

Spiel und Kunst mit MechanikI am please to inform you that Hanns-Martin Wagner and Falk Keuten -- both experts on mechanical sculpture -- have started a new blog entitled "Spiel und Kunst mit Mechanik" which translates roughly as "Play and Art with Mechanics".

They plan to feature content about all things related to mechanical toys and Kinetic Art including: automata, machine art, outsider art with mechanical actions, whirligigs, rolling ball sculptures, nonsense machines (like Rube Goldberg machines), chain reactions, the history of machines, sound sculptures, mechanical music, coin operated machines, vending machines, and paper engineering.

Sounds delightful!

Here is a link to Spiel und Kunst mit Mechanik (Play and Art with Mechanics).

[ Congratulations Hanns-Martin and Falk! ]


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Monday, August 18, 2008

Del's Beautiful Wooden Machine - Final Details

I posted a while back about Del Short's Amazing Wooden Contraption. He's added the final details and the machine is now finished.

The best news of all is that he says he has some new ideas and will probably work on them! Personally, I cannot wait to see what this master craftsman comes up with.

I also love the way Del and Art interact. I am putting my vote in for a cable TV show.

[ Thanks Del and Art! ]


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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gordon Bradt's Six Man Clock Kinetic Sculpture

Brass, gears, clockwork, 6 little animated figures...yup, it's official: I love it.


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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New pieces from Gina Kamentsky on Display

Gina Kamentsky's Go Go ChickenToday, Tuesday July 15th 2008, Gina Kamentsky will be installing 3 new pieces in her Fuller Craft Museum show entitled Mechanical Confections, which runs through November 9th, 2008.

Gina Kamentsky -- sculptor, animator, designer and teacher -- has spent most of her life creating objects and media for the amusement of children and adults. In this exhibition, she combines fantasy and reality in one-of-a-kind mechanical toys and kinetic sculptures.

Here is a link more information on her show Gina Kamentsky: Mechanical Confections.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Brad Litwin, Kinetic Sculpture Talk in Philadelphia

Brad Litwin, Kinetic Scupture Talk in Philadelphia
Kinetic sculptor and automaton artist Brad Litwin, who I posted about here and here, will be speaking about his kinetic sculptures on Sunday, July 13th in Philadelphia at The University of the Arts, 333 S. Broad Street, Anderson Hall, 4th Floor. While the talk is free(a $5 donation is suggested), an RSVP is required. Send email with first and last name to makephilly@gmail.com.

This info comes to us via the MAKE Magazine blog.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Nemo Gould Solo show in Santa Monica, CA

Kinetic artist and robotic sculpture creator Nemo Gould will be having a solo show called Second Hand Made, at the Lois Lambert Gallery in Santa Monica on Saturday July 12, 2008.

He has been working to come up with an assortment of new work just for this show, and will be displaying some old favorites also.

Here is a link to Nemo Gould's web site with some preview photographs.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Diverse Marble-Rolling & Lifting Machines

This video shows a half dozen or more marble rolling machines, labyrinths, and games. There are a couple of very novel mechanisms for raising the marbles back to the top of machines. One such device (toward the end of the clip) uses a pair of side-by-side serpentine ladders to pass the marble back and forth until it reaches the top. Another (in the middle of the video) uses a huge auger-style drill bit to raise the marbles! Ingenious.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ball Lifting Machine Using Wooden Offset Cams

Here's a neat mechanism that lift balls up an incline. Offset cams lift the balls in sequence as they advance up the steps. When it reaches the top, the ball shoots down a slide so it can start again.

The same technique is used by this dragon automaton and a similar kinetic sculpture. It's nice to see just the mechanism in detail in this video.

Found via the always cool MAKE Blog.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Amazing POV Chair Sculpture by Artist Jim Jenkins

Amazing POV Chair Sculpture by Artist Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins can best be described as part sculptor, part engineer, and part choreographer. His kinetic sculptures feature the animation of text and objects to represent a situation or observation.

The piece shown above, entitled The Little Chair, is a perfect example. The chair is mounted on an axle driven by a powerful motor. When the chair spins an electronic device takes advantage of the persistence of vision effect to write out the incongruous message "Sit still". Very clever!

Here is a link to a movie of The Little Chair in action.

Check out this and all of Jim Jenkin's kinetic artwork on his web site.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Series of Passionate/Arbitrary Decisions Machine

Here is a kinetic sculpture by Benjamin Cowden.

The piece is constructed of steel, concrete, brass, urethane rubber, and foam. Several mechanisms are chained together to produce the awkward spinning of the figure suspended in the center of the hoop. The overall effect works well with the title of the automaton: A Series of Passionate but Arbitrary Decisions.

Apart from being a great piece with an outstanding title, it also serves to show how useful good old-fashioned pin-wheels can be. Here the artist is using them to change the axis of rotation -- a fairly common use for pin-wheels. The particularly novel application is in the double-ratchet mechanism in which the pin-wheel's pins serve as "teeth" that are pulled in order to advance the motion. Clever, economical, and -- I'll wager -- robust.

Thanks, Falk!

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Alexander Calder's Automaton and Puppet Circus

Alexander Calder created a miniature circus using handmade characters that are part automaton and part puppet. He would then manipulate the figures to perform certain acts of the show. The figures include jugglers, clowns and animals -- all made from odd bits of wood, cork, wire, yarn, paper, string and cloth. Here is the first of two clips of showing Calder performing the Cirque Calder from a 1961 film.

Due out September of 2008, this book covers the Cirque Calder in detail: Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933 (Whitney Museum of American Art)

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Extra-Universal Movement, Wild Gear Contraption

I posted a recently about Brad Litwin's clever Atom Smacker Device. Here is a piece of Brad's dating back to 1979 called Extra-Universal Movement. The hand-cranked kinetic sculpture is a wild assortment of gears, tracks, belts, cups, balls, a governor, and even an animated dragon's head! I'm blown away.

The sculpture is mostly wood, measuring approximately 20" x 16" x 22" high. The artist informs me that the piece is made of pine, Honduras mahogany, bubinga, ebony, maple, cocobolo, lignum vitae, padouk, Indian and Brazilian rosewoods, teak, cherry, walnut, birch, and satinwood -- and maybe a couple of others! Extra, indeed.

Check out the work of this multi-talented artist at www.bradlitwin.com.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hand-Cranked Mechanical Atom-Smacker Device

Brad Litwin created this amazing hand-cranked contraption out of acrylic, brass, and steel. Actually, the word "contraption" doesn't do justice to its careful engineering and precise movements. It's hard to see early in the video, but that swinging arm is rapidly picking up, moving, and dropping a small ball-bearing. As the video progresses, you get to see every angle of this beautifully crafted machine.

From the YouTube description:
"Brad's first attempt to subvert the limits of the known universe. Over a period of use, the device has been utilized for the continuous abuse of countless atomic structures. However, to date, no discernible affect on our own temporal-spacial domain has been observed. Unit is approx. 8" x 4" x 4"high, made of acrylic, brass and steel."

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hand-Cranked Musical Head by Aaron Kramer

From the Artist:
"I made the little guy with the bakelite nose so that when you spun the paint can lid the music box would play. Then I figured there was another way to get the thing spinning around. A horizontal crank shaft of course!"

Check out Aaron Kramer's work on his web site.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Clockwork Mechanical Art by Gina Kamentsky

You have got to love the playful mechanical sculptures by Gina Kamenstsky. This video should give you a sample of what I mean.

A reminder: her solo exhibition, Gina Kamentsky: Mechanical Confections, will be on exhibition in Fuller Craft Museum through November 9, 2008.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Falk Keuten - Expert in Mechancial Objects & Art

Falk Keuten, mechancical objects expertThere are a few people that have really helped The Automata / Automaton Blog grow since it started in the summer of 2006. I would like to introduce you to one of those people now -- Falk Keuten of Bonn, Germany.

Herr Keuten has devoted years to collecting information, books, videos, and examples of things directly related to what is presented on this blog.

Among his many interests are:
• Mechanical toys
• Wooden automata
• Coin-operated automata, gambling and vending machines
• Amusement machines for fairs and festivals
• Odd machines, strange mechanics, mechanical chain reactions
• Paper mechanics including books, figures, and greeting cards
• Machine Art / Kinetic art
• Rolling ball sculptures as toys, construction kits, and art

Not content to simply collect items and information, he has invented some of his own things that can be described as a being a mix of toys, art, and mechanics. Herr Keuten has many connections to artists within his diverse areas of interest.

Mechanische Spielobjekte und AutomatenHe is the author of a wonderful book: Mechanische Spielobjekte und Automaten, Munich 1987, now out of print. The title translates in English as something like "Mechanical Toy Objects and Automata". I am informed, though, that in the German "automaten" includes more things than the English word "automata".

Herr Keuten has written many articles for professional journals. He writes a regular column "Virtuelle Wunderkammer" for a German journal aimed at Design and Technology teachers called tu.

He is also a key contributor to the fantastic site www.kugelbahn.ch, providing many of the links found on their kinetic arts page and the author of a comprehensive media list.

Herr Keuten has been involved in many school-based exhibitions. His last general exhibition entitled "Rollende Kugeln" (Rolling Balls) was at the gallery Studio Dumont, in Cologne, in December of 2007.

My admiration and my gratitude are sent to Falk Keuten, an expert with a generous heart.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Kinetic Sculptor Nemo Gould's Giant Robot Artwork

Little Big Man kinetic sculpture by Nemo GouldAs part of an upcoming show called "Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon" at the San Jose Museum of Art, Nemo Gould (Nemomatic) has created this amazing new piece called Little Big Man. Standing at 8 feet tall, the robot swings its arms and moves its mouth. Closer inspection reveals a tiny robot inside the abdomen of the larger one. The artist uses found objects and this time has blended wood with metal to create a truly unique work of moving art.

Here is a nice video that shows the robot(s) in action.
Visit the Nemomatic web site to learn more about Little Big Man and see videos of the artist speaking about the piece and his particular style of creating kinetic art.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Graceful Papercraft Kinetic Horse Sculpture

This extraordinary piece conveys three important concepts in automaton making.

First, just look at what can be done with paper as the primary material. This could either be a prototype for something later made in metal or wood, or this could be the finished product. Worried about longevity? I have seen a paper/cardboard automaton from the 18th Century that works just fine today.

Second, behold the power of well-considered linkages. The entire complex sequence of motions is driven from a single offset crank in the center of the horse. Very subtle movements, such as the head, are secondary motions. The interdependence of large and small motions gives the horse a very lifelike quality.

Third, while automata may be made of tangibles such as wood, paper, and metal, there is good reason to consider Computer Assisted Design (CAD) when creating them.

Check out some books on Mechanical Linkages, Paper Engineering, and Learning CAD.

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Gina Kamentsky Exhibit: Mechanical Confections

Gina Kamentsky SculptureGina Kamentsky is profiled in the Volume 13 of MAKE magazine (the same issue with my short book review of Dunninger's Complete Encyclopedia of Magic).

Gina Kamentsky is an multi-talented sculptor, animator, toy designer, inventor, musician, and teacher. Kamentsky works primarily with found materials and metal to create unique mechanical toys and kinetic sculptures.

Her solo exhibition, Gina Kamentsky: Mechanical Confections, will be on exhibition in Fuller Craft Museum's Daniel Tarlow gallery through November 9, 2008. She will be on site on March 2nd at 2:00 as part of Fuller Craft Museum's series, Objectively Speaking.

Here's a link to Fuller Craft Museum exhibits page.

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