Kinetic sculptures are sculptures that, like other types of kinetic art, are entirely or partially in motion. According to Wikipedia, “the motion of the work can be provided in many ways: mechanically through electricity, steam or clockwork; by utilizing natural phenomena such as wind or wave power; or by relying on the spectator to provide the motion, by doing something such as cranking a handle.” Kinetic sculptures are not just demonstrations of humans’ incredible artsy creativity, but also wonderful applications of physics. It’s hard to understand the beauty of this form of art at full scale without seeing it with your own eyes, but hopefully 18 extraordinary kinetic sculptures below will provide you with the first taste.
BMW Kinetic Sculpture
Via: Today and Tomorrow
The Germany based ART+COM used 714 metal balls that are individually suspended one barely visible strings to create one marvelous mechatronic installation that can leave even the most fastidious visitor in awe. The balls lower and retract independently to re-create typical BMW car designs throughout the company’s 90-year history.
Strandbeest Kinetic Sculpture
Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest is not just a kinetic masterpiece, but an entirely new strain of life. Powered by wind, the automaton looks incredibly like a giant beast as it cascades in flowing waves down seaside sands. It can also store air pressure and use it to drive itself in the absence of wind.
Walking Beast Kinetic Sculpture
Via: Mechanical Spider
The Walking Beast is an enormous kinetic creation that walks on 8 legs. Standing 11 feet tall, 8′ 4″ wide and 24 feet long, the beast can transport 8 people including the driver. The legs are supported on a 4 link system and uses 56 pivot points and 114 bearings.
Toothpicks Kinetic Sculpture
Via: Andrew Storms
Something as small as a toothpick, when combined together, can create something as huge as this amazing kinetic sculpture. The art piece features an entire city, with a ball traveling through it.
Via: Dave Gorman
Gregory Barsamian’s Lather is an outlandish kinetic sculpture that will take you into a surreal world. The strobe flashes at the same frequency as the wheel rotates so your eye isn’t aware of the rotation.
Butterfly Kinetic Sculpture
Spotted at the Burning Man festival in 2009, Portal of Evolution is a sculpture based on the female reproductive system. Emerging from the top is a kinetic butterfly that slowly turns with the wind.
Driving Force Kinetic Sculpture
Via: Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith is a genius craftsman who spends most of his time creating stunning colorful kinetic sculptures out of materials he finds in his home town. Driving Force is one of his most prominent projects. It runs on one single electric motor. The power is then transferred throughout the piece through belts and pulleys, driving all of the various wheels and shapes.
Billiard Kinetic Sculpture
Another colorful kinetic sculpture from Andrew Smith, Billiards is a four legged creature that has billiard balls running up and down its length before falling in the holes just like when you play the real billiard game.
Little Big Man Kinetic Robot
Called “Little Big Man,” the big robot has inside its belly a little robot who seems to be operating the movements of the big man. It was made by Nemo Gould from found objects for a show called “Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon.”
Kinetic Robot Sculpture Performer #2
The Performer #2 is another kinetic robot from the great artist Nemo Gould. Made of mostly wood, the robot can perform by itself.
Cyclops Bunny Kinetic Sculpture
With an eerie shifting eye and an evil toothy grin fixed on its face, the Leoprid Eye kinetic sculpture from Nemo Gould is a dark avatar of the otherwise docile rabbit. The sculpture was made using a clock, a voltage meter, and LEDs.
In the Forest Kinetic Sculpture
Nemo Gould again demonstrated his talent and whimsy with this mysterious creation. Called “In the forest“, the sculpture shows baby-faced oval robot atop a hybrid deer/turtle ride. The deer is calmly chewing on some plants while the baby robot is holding the reigns loosely.
Minotaur Kinetic Sculpture
Nemo Gould’s Minotaur kinetic sculpture is a silly robot made out of basically any junk thing you find your house: radio cabinet, meat slicer, vacuum cleaners, bull horns, chair and table parts, motors, LEDs, refrigerator parts, belt wheels, milliamp meter, shoe trees, springs, cable, pulleys, misc aluminum scrap.
Nowhere Fast Kinetic Sculpture
Featuring a poor guy trying to pedal nonstop for nothing, Nemo Gould’s Nowhere Fast kinetic sculpture tells how a person can put himself to self abuse. Even when he is trying to escape the addiction, he is still causing himself loss.
Bust IV Kinetic Sculpture
The “Bust IV” of Jeremy Mayer is a stunning kinetic sculpture made from parts of a vintage typewriter. The sculpture resembles a 6 foot tall human being and it’s accurate to every detail.
Squid Kinetic Sculpture
The rhythmical movements of the squid under the sea were re-created beautifully and gracefully with metallic found materials.
Praying Mantis Kinetic Sculpture
Nemomatic has always had a thing for the praying mantis, and this creature turned out to be a wonderful inspiration for one of his projects. The Praying Mantis kinetic sculpture looks exactly like a real one, and it is made out of 99.9% found and salvaged materials.
Condor Kinetic Sculpture
Via: Dork Bot
Created by Chris Cole, the Condor is a kinetic sculpture driven by two electric motors: the larger one drives the wings and legs while the smaller one moves the beak.