by Jim Caryl
For some time now I have have been fascinated by kinetic sculpture; a fusion of art and engineering that demonstrates a high degree of human aesthetic understanding and kineto-mechanical motion. I used to be obsessed with complicated, intricate, interactive, clock-work like mechanisms, but I never had the skill to assemble any of my ideas; about the most I could achieve was a marble (glass ball) mouse race or domino rally. The kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen is a leading proponent and I’ve particularly love his piece Strandbeest, which is a wind-propelled kinetic sculpture.
Another notable artist in the field is David Roy, whose work with wood-based kinetic, illusory sculptures beggar the mind. I don’t particularly dig the music, but if anyone thinks they can provide a good complementary backing track you should contact David. Visit his site and check out his work.
I was put in mind of the above from a recent Core77 feature on kinetic design. After a long cascade of YouTube surfing I stumbled upon the following kinetic model, entitled ‘Three Boxes’, from the sculptor Ben Hopson.
It’s a very simple piece, but demonstrates the chess-game like foresight one needs for such design. I wish that I had the patience to sit down and work on one of these, but my tenacity is worn out by repeating experiments in the lab. For now however, I’m happy to sit and contemplate these amazing feates of engineering by others.