Unlikely Mechanisms

January 19, 2008
A scuffed doll slowly writhes in the air suspended on seven stiff wires attached to a well oiled black machine. Press a button and wheels turn, a small body wiggles. Eventually everything stops. A child’s toy balanced on an adult’s toy. Analog grime controlled with creative precision.
This unlikely mechanism is one of the pieces in the Arthur Ganson’s exhibit Gestural Engineering: The Sculpture of Arthur Ganson at the MIT museum in Boston. A delightful combination of found objects and carefully engineered motions. I really enjoyed the exhibit and trying each piece and stepping back to watch what it does. The piece Eleven Scraps of Paper is quite elegant with its flock of flying paper scraps, flapping away. He has a pretty nice web page and since I don’t know the guy but I like his work a DVD. Apparently he even makes his own gears. There is also a nice write up of some of his pieces at the Hood Museum of Art. If you can make it to see one of his exhibits in person it’s worth the excursion.

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