GEEKERY: Sculpture gets Mechanical

insecta-3 long

Just play one of these videos; you’ll quickly understand why this is so damned cool.

Kinetic sculpture adds motion to three dimensional art pieces – this can be accomplished with wind, motors, human interaction, etc. When they’re successful they meld art, science, and mathematics into something astounding.

Choe U-Ram works with metal and clockwork precision to achieve the graceful motion in his table top sized works…

The materials in this piece are a bit more crude, but it’s just as fun to watch. The students also made a video while building this piece that gets in to the engineering side. [Start at 55 seconds in on this video to skip the truck unloading.]

Yarn creates an intricate control panel in this piece by Justina Yang… who knew materials this simple could be this elegant?

Theo Jansen, probably one of the most well known kinetic sculptors, has been building perpetual motion sculptures out of pvc tubing and zip ties for 25 years. His machines are powered by wind; sometimes with a kick start from a person. They are simply amazing to watch in action. They look like they’re alive as they crawl down the sand.

He calls them Strandbeest, which translates to BeachBeast. Each new iteration boasts improvements in speed and hardiness. He’s even made a few that are able to store air pressure and move when the wind has died down.


What do you think of this art form? Do you happen to have a favorite kinetic artist or piece (perpetual motion machines totally count)?

  • Horus84cmd

    where’s the toy soldiers? ….

    • That wasn’t exactly Sean Astin’s best movie, but I could write an article about it. Hmm…

      • Horus84cmd

        but it would have more toy soldiers; yes?

        • It would have more Sean Astin and Louis Gossett Jr., for sure.

          • euansmith

            Written by the 5th most successful screenwriter of all time… I guess everyone has to start somewhere…

  • evansn79 .

    As a sculpture student i say, give me more miniatures.

  • Rhaen

    Those walking abominations scare the living s**’ out of me…

    • Cergorach

      Yeah, they don’t show you the footage of hordes of terrified tourists being chased by the Stranbeasts… 😉

      • Spacefrisian

        Strandbeest apocalypse, cause you need those when the zombie apocalypse is happening.

  • euansmith

    There’s a new sensation,
    A fabulous creation,
    A danceable solution,
    To teenage revolution,
    Do the Strandbeesten love,
    When you feel love,
    It’s the new way,
    That’s why we say,
    Do the Strandbeesten…