Friday, January 30, 2009

It's (not really) alive!

In the spirit of Arthur Ganson (sculpture races; gesture art) and Theo Jansen (evolving mobile sculpture), here's another new star in the kinetic sculpture constellation:

Reuben Margolin

What I love about his sculpture is that not only is it beautiful and intriguing, it's deeply mathematical and mechanical. But even if you aren't familiar with the math and physics behind waves, it is still intuitive and compelling.

You really should just go to his website and check out his wave-sculptures and creative rickshaws, but if you are too lazy to do that, I'm embedding some videos.

I'm totally fascinated with how artists capture lifelike motion. People who work with still media (traditional sculpture, painting, drawing, photography) have a completely different way of approaching it than kinetic sculptors. But what I find most interesting is that the constructed motion of kinetic sculpture is still only representation. Yes, it is still moving, but it still struggles imperfectly to capture something more abstract, visceral and elusive that is inherent in things that are alive. Animation isn't the same as living motion.

And that's why Margolin's (and Ganson's and Jansen's) work is so captivating -- it's a foreign realization of a familiar gesture.

It's always like us, but always other.

I could keep watching and posting videos all day, but I'll just point you to Rueben Margolin's YouTube channel.

No comments: