CREATING THINGS THAT MOVE: Fun with Kinetic Art by Harry Helfman


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Demonstrating kinetic art on static pages is a problem--one that is especially evident in the early photos and descriptions of works by Duchamp, George Rickey, Calder and (especially) Tinguely. Helfman's nine suggested projects, though, are simple enough so that visualizing the objects in motion won't be a problem. In fact the finished items are so simple and so amateurish looking that they are unlikely to inspire emulation. There's a coffee can that you cover with decorated paper and roll back and forth via a rubber band ""motor"" inside; a mobile face whose balancing parts are eyes, mouth, etc.; some paper pinwheels on straws (it might have been politic for the editors to clip off the swastika-decorated one at the edge of the photo); the ""accordion construction"" that changes as you walk past it (though the sample here doesn't exploit its optical potential); the ""disappearing monsters"" manipulated by sliding a drawing back and forth inside an envelope with cutout windows; and other devices employing magnets or a record player turntable. Many of these are based on the same principles demonstrated in the kinetic art on display at MOMA over the past few years, but unless he's seen the real stuff it will take an imaginative youngster to recognize, let alone realize, the potential from the examples here.

Pub Date: Aug. 20th, 1975
Publisher: Morrow