Behold the awesomeness that is Long Ma the fire-breathing dragon-horse, the latest creation by French artist François Delarozière and his art production company La Machine. The 46-ton kinetic sculpture stands almost 40 feet tall and features articulated limbs that can gallop, rear up, and fold beneath him when he wants to sit down. His neck rises and falls and his wonderfully expressive face features eyes that open and close. Best of all, his chest swells from the pressure building in his lungs before he exhales fantastic plumes of smoke from his nostrils and jets of fire from his mouth.
This marvelous interactive sculpture was just debuted in the French city of Nantes and will soon be traveling to Beijing where he’ll be presented in October as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China. Long Ma is based on a creature from Chinese mythology, Longma, a fabled winged horse with dragon scales, and will be the hero of a performance entitled “Long Ma Jing Shen” or “The Spirit of the Horse Dragon” during which he’ll face off against a giant spider.
Click here and here for video footage of Long Ma in all his fiery glory.
Steam of Consciousness Handmade polyurethane skull (1/2 scale) with fully functioning custom built miniature steam engine. Materials: Brass, carbon steel, stainless steel, glass, polyurethane, and wood. Size: 6” x 9” (15 cm x 23 cm) including glass dome. Christopher Conte
Tele-Present Water Simulates a Spot in the Pacific from Halfway Around the World
Artist David Bowen is known for his kinetic sculptures that are driven by real-world data from natural phenomenon. For his work “Tele-Present Water,” first exhibited at the National Museum in Wroclaw, Poland, Bowen pulled real-time wave intensity and frequency data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) buoy station 46246 (49°59’7″ N 145°5’20″ W) located in the remote Shumagin Islands of Alaska. This information was scaled and transferred to a mechanical grid structure, resulting in an uncanny live simulation of the movement of water from halfway around the world. The piece, along with Bowen’s other works, speaks to the way technology and telecommunications can both alienate us from and unite us with the natural world. While technology has enabled us to control and model phenomena with unprecedented precision, it may also provide a means to understand the world in a more intimate, visceral way.
"The Perch Light is a balancing sculptural light made of folded paper and brass. The lamp takes the form of an abstract bird which appears to be delicately balanced on its metal perch. The bird is illuminated through contact with the perch and this lets the bird balance and swing without any cables whilst maintaining luminance. The design was inspired by nature and in particular, the elegance and beauty of a bird sitting on its perch."
This beautiful handmade lamp is available as both a standing lamp and a wall-mounted fixture. The bird has been carefully counterbalanced so that it rests perfectly upon its perch. It can also swing back and forth in the wind or when touched. Click here to view the Perch Light in motion.
Like a small god, Dutch kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen has spent the last twenty years creating wind-powered machines called “Strandbeests.” Most at home on damp stretches of beach, these stunning constructions amble across their habitat with unnervingly life-like dexterity. They are intricately built from piping, wood, and wing-like sails, and genetic algorithms are used to organise the steps of their many spindly legs. Fascinatingly, their legs are engineered so that smaller tubes are slotted within larger ones, creating “muscles” that can lengthen while walking to help the body balance. Strandbeests have evolved from rudimentary “species” to more sophisticated ones equipped to deal with their three main predators: dry sand, the sea, and storms. Jansen has given them the ability to store air pressure by capturing wind in their wings and pumping it into old lemonade bottles, so if the wind drops, the creatures can still move—perhaps to save their lives by moving clear of a rising tide. They also have primitive brains: binary step counters that tell the creature its location in its simple world of sand and dunes. Some species also have feelers that can detect both water or dry sand, which immediately kicks the strandbeest into preservation mode, making it instinctively stop and walk the opposite way. Some strandbeests can even sense when a storm is coming, and anchor themselves to the ground to survive. Eventually, Jansen hopes that herds of his breathtakingly life-like creatures can roam coastlines independent of human supervision.
Born in 1970, U-Ram Choe works out of a modest studio in Seoul, South Korea where he specializes in the design and creation of kinetic sculptures. He views his works as living organisms, bestowing them with a system of scientific nomenclature, often accompanied by mythological descriptions of each “species” behaviors, life cycle, and place in the wider ecosystem.
188.8.131.52.Una Lumino (2012) – metal, polycarbonate, motor, CPU board, and LED. 55cm h x 710cm w x 670cm d. According to U-Ram, Una Lumino is a species of mechanized sentient creatures, similar to sea barnacles in form and movement. They exhibit sophisticated behavioral patterns, communicating
with each other in colonies as they form giant masses of pulsing,
5.6. Cakra Lamp (2013) – metal, machinery, and electronic CPU board, motor and LED. 55cm diameter. While most of Choe’s creations relate to flora
and fauna, Cakra is the second in a series of pieces that draws
inspiration from Buddhist mandalas. Photos via Artitute Art.
184.108.40.206. Insecta Lamps (2013) – metal, machinery, magnet, electronic CPU board, motor and LED. 15cm w x 15cm d x 36cm h. Now this is sculptural
This steampunk themed clock designed by the famous Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli is the largest animated clock in the world. The clock was completed in December 2006 after a design period of over four years.
The enormous copper clock is 12 metres high, 18 metres wide, and has extensive animations timed to music including firing steam cannon, moving figures, and moving legs like Howl’s Moving Castle.
The clock was built by sculptor Shachimaru Kunio who also built the giant Laputa robot on the rooftop of the Ghibli museum. Miyazaki said that he wanted to make something that would be loved by future generations that would last beyond his animated characters.
Alex Lockwoodself-taught artist from Seattle, WA makes abstract sculptures from colorful material, often repurposed or recycled. He builds with one primary component which is repeated many times to create patterns and structures. Lockwood has exhibited in various group shows across the US and his first solo show had at Curtis Steiner Gallery in Seattle in 2013.via Coop Gallery
Christopher Conte began working in the prosthetics field making artificial limbs for amputees for 16 years. Throughout his time, he worked in obscurity creating biomechanical sculptures which reflected his love for biomechanics, anatomy and robotics. In June 2008, he left the field to begin his career as a full-time artist. Christopher uses a wide range of experience along with diverse materials and construction techniques to create one-of-a-kind arthropods and anatomies.
"When I first turned on the Cambrian Wave I was reminded of the wiggly creatures found in the Burgess Shale. These creatures, which flourished in the geologic time known as the Cambrian Period, had so many arms and legs that even their fossils seem to have movement. The lower part of the sculpture is made of birch, maple and basswood. Embedded pulleys add together the motion originating in the three top rings. A steel frame shaped like a bow holds the rings and tensions a white comb that separates the weave from the wave. The thimble in the central ring is filled with pulleys and so behaves like a fool’s tackle, doubling the motion in the single wavelength that acts over the entire sculpture. The little circles drive the edge riffles with the yellow dots. Each ring has its own motor, and because these motors all go different speeds, the sculpture is pretty much non-repeating."