the Applied Kinetic Arts show : San Francisco

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I was deeply regretful that I missed the opening of the Applied Kinetic Arts show at the Y2Y gallery in San Francisco. It opened on November 21, but fortunately runs through January 23, 2009 so we have plenty of time to enjoy the incredible work of Nemo Gould, Reuben Margolin, Christopher Palmer, Mark Galt and Benjamin Cowden — also, Gould’s astounding Giant Squid is on display.
Y2Y gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 1-5pm, at 251 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118; 415.221.5012.

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Kinetic Steam Works : call for artists

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While not blogging about their insane cowboy adventures going across North America chasing down Case Traction Engines, Kinetic Steam Works is also looking for artists and capable hands willing to ‘upgrade’ to steam art. This Bay Area outfit is ragtag but skilled and smart; highly recommended if you’re looking for a place to plug in your fabrication and mechanical skills.

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anthropomorphic whimsey : Nemo Gould


Image by art at the dump (Gould set): “Guzzler: engine parts, gas pump, baseball bats, 10 speed bike handlebars, vacuum parts, lamp, extension ladder parts, garden soil aerator, golf caddy cart wheels.”

Nemo Gould is a beloved Bay Area kinetic and machine artist; for two decades he’s been building static and kinetic machine art using everything from used dentures to old sewing machine motors. Even his life-sized, sinister looking alien robot sculptures — such as General Debris — have a touch of humor, and it’s difficult not to smile when perusing a portfolio loaded with thinks like Catmonkey and Junkyard Dog. He’s well known for Venus Flytrap:

Yet when I met Gould at Maker Faire 2008 and did a live Qik interview, the supreme piece of his ouvre, to me, was his Giant Mechanical Squid — seen fittingly in this video shot by Scott Beale:

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sharp, shiny, gorgeous, brilliant : the robotic art of Choe U Ram

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I insist that you start by clicking right over to the Engadget gallery and video, featuring the steel robotic sculptures of machine art mastermind Choe U Ram. The pieces are from the now-closed show Anima Machines — and are like Arthur Ganson‘s larger works after a forced infusion of H. R. Geiger’s thick blackened alien blood and midwifed from a screaming CNC mill into the hands of a very evil horticulturalist. Just sayin’. I’m in love.
Additionally, Robot Watch has a huge, detailed report on the Anima Machines show (set in an abandoned Japanese bathhouse) and more videos of Ram’s exhibition than anywhere else. Do not miss.

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welcome to art machines : Arthur Ganson


Image via eightprime.

While it’s tempting to begin this blog with Jean Tinguely, one of my all-time favorite artists in the whole world is Arthur Ganson. Mechanics, kinetics, shape, shadow and illusion are all midwifed into nearly-hallucinogenic articulated imps that must be seen (in motion) to be fully appreciated. Love the use of simple gearing (hooray for worm gears!), and his general affection for creating his own gears out of wire.
Simple, and beautiful. Look: NOVA’s compilation video. Also: mechanized sculpture videos + images.
After the jump, a couple of my favorite Ganson videos.
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