Kinetic sculptures; phenakistiscope

Category: Sculpture, Sculptures
Last Updated: 12 Mar 2023
Pages: 1 Views: 187

Artwork creations consisting of continuous moving parts or sounds are examples of kinetic sculptures. Windmills, wheels, mobiles, lava lamps and water all may be considered kinetic sculptures. Paintings giving illusions of continuing into the unknown, such as towers leading and combining into another item of the painting use kinetic elements. Sculptures containing motion are most commonly referred to as kinetic art. Artists use many scientific elements creating kinetic sculptures. Persistence of vision is a common element used in kinetic sculpturing.

Persistence of vision means the human brain fills the blanks between sequential images seen in rapid succession creating an illusion of continuous motion” (Barsamian, July 3, 2006). Film, television and even stage acting adopt persistence of vision techniques making their productions come alive. Often art museums depend on outside affects such as lighting, strobe lights, external lighting, wall coloring and even other artwork to accent the kinetic sculptures. “Through the use or rotating mechanical armatures and synchronized strobe lights, three dimensional objects move horizontally and vertically and change their shapes in real time.

The inspiration for this strange and wonderful world are animation techniques that predate the film such as the zoetrope, flip book and phenakistiscope, all of which are based on the persistence of vision, in other words, after image” (Barsamian, 2006). Moving kinetic sculptures originate with very simple lines, shapes, rectangles, and circles everyone learned before pre-K. Phenakistiscope is a spinning disk reflecting images. The wheel continuously spins as the viewer looks into slits of continuous moving reflections. The symbology of images is left up to what the viewer interprets, incorporating the persistence of vision concept.

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