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Q & A: Kinetic Sculpture

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
How do you build a kinetic sculpture?? I have absolutely no idea and cant find any directions. I am in seventb grade. hank you.
- lara rosen (age 13)
middle school, billings ,MT usa
A:
Hi Lara,

A kinetic sculpture is any piece of artwork which has moving parts. Part of the fun of art is that it is a creative process -- the artist has complete freedom to choose the materials and ways to put them together to achieve some purpose. These purposes can be to tell a story, make a comment on something, or most often in the case of kinetic sculpture, just to entertain the viewer with something silly or humorous. Kinetic sculptures are lots of fun to watch; they often put one or two in airport waiting areas to keep people from getting too bored while their flights are delayed. My suggestion to you is to find some kinetic sculptures you like, look at what they're made out of, and try to make something similar. Some have motors to keep them going, and others are just free-hanging mobiles. Many have bouncing balls in them or something that makes a noise (try putting a xylophone in there and figure out how to make a machine that drops the mallets on the bars or maybe balls). If you've ever played the game "Mousetrap", its crazy plastic devices sort of count as pieces of a kinetic sculpture. Here are some pictures of some on the web:




-- these may require some metalwork. I'd suggest wood or cardboard to get started -- metal can be difficult and dangerous to work with.

Tom

(published on 10/22/2007)

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