Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mechanical wonders

Athur Ganson is the artist in residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has made machines with  no purpose other than to be beautiful and to show us the grace of motion. The first one, the artichoke leaf, reminds me of a Brecht play, and also of a very small figure in a vertical Chinese landscape.

When in England to visit my sister, I loved stopping by the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, which was located in Covent Garden (and may still be - I'm not clear on this) . At this point they stage exhibitions in various locations around the world, there are several in the U.S. now. Their web site has some videos of Paul Spooner's work.

18 comments:

J A Harnett-Hargrove said...

Hey,I see a 'cleaned-up' Calder in him. (Not that C. needs to be cleaned up)...Thanks, Nice post. I adore movement gadgets. We educated ourselves about Cabaret Mechanical Theatre years ago while building mechanical window boxes for downtown Denver. Of course ours had to be electrical. I'd like to get back into a bricoleur body of work inspired by this...Memory lane. -Jayne

Caio Fernandes said...

lovely ilustration and idea .
i am going to send you the name of a sao paulo's artist that his productions of the 80's is very similar with what you described here .
oh ! i remember :
it is Guto Lacaz .
i am sure that if you find some thing on internet about the 80's and beguinig of 90's you will enjoy .

ArtSparker said...

Jane - sounds like interesting work

Caio - Just going out, have written some notes. Later, dude.

Amy C said...

I loved that place in Covent Garden. Did you get your feet tickled and a prescription written by the ones outside?

Eva said...

It would be a special touch if to follow the instructions would lead into chaos or would not work.

Jasmine said...

Inspiring, both websites are wonderful. I have not noticed or heard of The Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, but I seldom visited Covent Garden and London is exceptionally good at keeping her treasures well hidden.

The artichoke is lovely. To me the beauty of it, which I may not have noticed if I had not have visited The Dream or The knife thrower first, was in the silence. Well oiled perfectly running machinery, everything exactly in place.

My favourite of he 3 had t be the knife thrower, suits my mood! A particularly nice touch that the knife penetrates a bank note, presumably in he ceiling, and the ominous clacking in the build up to the discharge of the knife.

I will have to go back and watch more later, my computer cannot handle video, it tends to crash....

California Girl said...

Pretty cool web site and I watched the video of "The Barecats", short and fun.

ArtSparker said...

Eva, yours is a devious mind.

yvette said...

now I know where to go ifffff...

glad to know you!

yvette

Eva said...

ups... sorry...

mum said...

great link, thanks for it.

(you have to wonder about the long association between tobacco companies and sports - can you imagine row, row, row your boat while puffing away?)

Eva said...

Well, of course this guy is a genius. Maybe I have a problem with spending so much time -- part of a precious human life which is so hard to obtain* -- for something without a real purpose. But the real purpose is to make people think about the relation of effort and effect.

____________________________
*Buddhist point of view: If you look at the spillions of beings in the oceans and in the soil, it must be a rare rebirth to be human.

notmassproduced said...

amazing machines - thanks for the link

Ande said...

Hmm, I’m sure there is a philosophical meaning behind this, but it was pretty funny anyhow:) I loved the “English countryside” video; it brought back memories from autumns in Sussex…

jude said...

i am always interested in those kinds of machines. they have their own use.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Fantastic and beautiful idea..Thanks for sharing the lovely post with us..Great..Unseen Rajasthan

Jasmine said...

Just saw this post and had to share it with you. http://a-faerietale-of-inspiration.blogspot.com/2009/08/mike-libby-mechanical-wonders.html?showComment=1249498869431#c4295517057709037409

Ruthie never ceases to amaze me with the magical things she finds. This post is about an artist who makes insects out of old watch parts. Very beautiful!

Isabel said...

What a great place to visit! The videos are quite fascinating! What a treat it must be to visit the Mechanical Theater in person.