To some, the famous “Burning Man” Arts Festival is a regular hotspot for gatherings of young and talented artisans from all across the globe. Back in 2000, a female-dominated art group was born through collaborative work during this special festival. The Flaming Lotus Girls took their group’s name from their very first sculptural masterpiece; the Flaming Lotus Sr. The art collective makes use of interactive elements to form kinetic and innovative sculptural pieces that dazzle audiences with displays of light and fire. They’ve gone from using alloys of metal, to medleys of glass and wood to create flame spurts of up to 150 feet in height.
A few years back, they created an original piece called Soma. They were deeply inspired by the ability of neurons to fire signals into a complex system of nodes and receptors. The large-scale sculpture exhibits two neurons that seemingly transfer signals to one another using intense displays of fire and light flow. One of the neurons roots itself onto the ground, while the other is hoisted higher above it. Computers are used to control the LED patterns within the connected neurons. The concept behind the interactivity isn’t limited to automation either. The complex design allows the public to communicate with the sculpture itself via a control system accessible to anyone. A Soma in nature is actually neuron with branches called dendrites and a projection called the axon. Basing from biological science, the art of Soma by this group of artists is a wonderful example of kinetic and contemporary art today.
Soma 2009 by the Flaming Lotus Girls – Photography by Michael Prados
As an abstract expressionist sculptor, Mark di Suvero creates his bold, contemporary pieces in a diversity of rigid and curving shapes. Taking inspiration from prime contours and basic elements, he uses heavy metal and steal beams to create arcs, bends and complex shapes that constitute the foundation for much of his art portfolio. Aside from this, another trait that defines Mark’s artworks, are the fact that many pieces within are kinetic. Swivels and rotatable objects are a common find in his designs, giving them a great capability for motion and interactivity. Mark studied at several universities, such as Berkeley, and the Santa Barbara University in California. He was also a recipient of the (year 2000) International Sculpture Center Lifetime Achievement Award.
As an avid member of the art community, Mark also founded two galleries; Park Place and SoHo Contemporary Art. Aside from these establishments, his three studios in Long Island, Petaluma, and France are all reputable facilities that work round’ the clock to create his bold gigantic masterpieces. Mark’s aesthetic tendency to make use of large elements like railroad tracks and heavy I-beams makes it difficult to construct art at a normal backyard studio, so he uses these three professional studios at their locations to make his metal creations from start to finish. Recently, he published a book entitled Dreambook which is a compilation of sculptures, ideas and poems. It is highlighted with vibrant colors that reflect on his personal taste.
We all know William Pye to be one of the innovative minds behind several out-of-the-box designs like the Antony Cone water sculpture at the Antony House in Cornwall, but this is something even more depth defying than many of his other creations.
Behold Charybdis, a whirlpool vortex contained within an acrylic polymer composition that matches curiosity for awe. Located in Seaham Hall, Sunderland, this magnificent artwork was inspired by Homer’s tales of Scylla and Charybdis, the two sirens whom Zeus had struck to become inhuman entities. Charybdis became a massive vortex that swallowed up ships that strayed too close to her gaping mouth.
You can find his website will all his amazing water sculptures right here.
Kinetic refers to something in motion, so this form of sculpture can be defined by its unique aspect of integrating motion into its beauty and function. In some societies, both sound sculpture and light sculpture are also considered as kinetic art, but traditionalists refer to the term only when they pertain to concrete masses in motion.
Two popularized examples of kinetic sculpture are the mobile and the fountain.
First off, the mobile is a type of kinetic sculpture that makes use of the properties of equal balance. Weight and density are taken into detailed consideration when creating works in this field. Most mobile sculptures have separate elements hanging or balancing by some point of reference. This set of elements are set in motion by a slight force of wind or air current. Alexander Calder is one of the most famous and acclaimed mobile artists of the 19th century and was best known for many of his playful depictions created by crafting metals into mobile sculptures. The mobile is also a very popular teaching exercise used to instruct art students on the aspects of balance and composition.
The fountain is a type of kinetic sculpture that associates itself with a flow of liquid. Most common fountains today are used in a grand scale as center pieces in many hotels and resorts, but there are several artists who still practice the creation of solo or small fountains, such as the japanese bonsai-garden sculptors that make use of controlled water flow in their living artworks.
The motion-creator for any kinetic sculpture can stem from many different sources of energy, such as wind and water power, electrical power, steam power, mechanical (or human) power, or even using clock work. Historians argue that the very first kinetic sculpture was made by Marcel Duchamp. A piece entitles Bicycle Wheel in the early 19th century. At around the same time (but a bit later), Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner created their Realist Manifesto in Moscow. Kinetic art was finally included as a novelty in the compilation.
If you would like to find Kinetic Art sculptors you could contact the Kinetic Art Organization or KAO, which is the largest international art organization of its kind.