The 2013 Kinetica Art Fair

Belated and speedy report on the 5th Kinetica Art Fair.

0composition-x_2495889k.jpgAphra Shemza, Composition X. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

0a8fairview634294b.jpgPhoto by Luke Neve for Kinetica

Year after year, i go to Kinetica with enthusiasm. I might find it a challenge to spot the real gems in a sea of (sometimes) artistically questionable works but that’s part of the fun. Kinetica might not be the Mecca for art & science that some bloggers and journalists describe (too many holograms!) but it’s certainly a good place to discover kinetic, electronic, and robotic art. It also has a friendly, open atmosphere that makes it surprisingly easy to have a chat with artists, art dealers and other exhibitors.

This year, the theme of Kinetica’s exhibition and programme of talks and performances was ‘Illusion and Reality’ and the thin veil that divides what is real and perceived. The -fairly broad- theme aims to challenge ideas on what is real, perceived or imagined, and focuses on transformation, metamorphism, visual paradox, vibration, nature, the subliminal and the subconscious.

This year, i liked:

Wu Xiao Fei Dyson‘s Musical Typewriter sits quietly on a table. Each of its letters is attached to a fishing line that disappears quickly in a confusion of other fishing lines and triggers a little hammer as you type. The hammers strike empty barrels of rapeseed cooking oil, jars of Marmite, cans of Pepsi, wine bottles, etc. Each producing a different sound.

0u8xiafei5a530.jpgWu Xiao Fei Dyson, Musical Typewriter. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

0i8xiaofei2b37b7983.jpgWu Xiao Fei Dyson, Musical Typewriter. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

0i8xiofei6e89a638.jpgWu Xiao Fei Dyson, Musical Typewriter. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

Wu Xiao Fei Dyson, Musical Typewriter

Mechanical Flipbooks by Mark Rosen and Wendy Marvel, (based on the motion studies of Eadweard Muybridge) are inspired by Eadweard Muybridge’s pioneering photographic studies of motion.

0i8mechanical4f01131_z.jpgMark Rosen and Wendy Marvel, Mechanical Flipbook. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

Mechanical Flipbook, Horse in Motion

0s8fliobookc0637bb.jpgMechanical Flipbook, Horse in Motion. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

0s8flipbook57b90ac.jpgMark Rosen and Wendy Marvel, Mechanical Flipbook. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

Right at the entrance of the fair, The Walk was impossible to miss. The 2.5-meter diameter sphere is covered with some 35,000 LED’s displaying a video loop that tells a story loosely based on Dante’s Divine Comedy of the journey from Hell to Purgatory.

0titiusExb1b68eff.jpgTitia Ex, The Walk. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

0a8hfa3273.jpgTitia Ex, The Walk. Image Happy Famous Artists

The most exciting booth was by far the one set up by All Visual Arts. They showed six works inside a small dark room.

The level of water contained in Ben Tyers’ Breathe glass sculpture goes up and down following a slow, regular rhythm. In fact, the mechanism ‘inhales and exhales’ the same capacity of air as two human lungs. There’s something meditative about the piece as after having watched it for a short period of time, you realize that your own breathing pattern calms down.

0a8benTyers_be6f3.jpgBen Tyers, Breathe, 2009. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

Paul Fryer’s Chess for Tesla (which some of you might have seen at The Art of Chess exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery) is an homage to Nikola Tesla. Because Tesla was a pioneer of the vacuum tubes, the 32 pieces in the set are glass vacuum tubes. I didn’t dare touch the work but apparently The board of the chess set powers the vacuum tube pieces so that when unplugged the individual pieces glow for a little while, struggling to keep connection with the board, and then die. Plug them back in and they reactivate.

I was told that the chess board was about to travel to Hollywood to feature in a blockbuster scifi movie (Star Trek if i remember correctly.)

More images, including Kinetic LEGO sculpture by Alex Allmont and a kinetic-tensegrity-roof and reactive floor.

0a8allmont0856d_z.jpgAlex Allmont. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

0a8allmontef5c97b_z.jpgAlex Allmont. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

Alex Allmont, All Work and No Play. At Kinetica 2013

Alex Allmont, Ride With Me

0cymbal_2495856k.jpgAlex Allmont. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

David John Rosewell, Puppets to our Creation

David John Rosewell’s Puppets to our Creation mirrors the movements of the viewer who stands in front of it. The person becomes thus both the puppet and the puppeteer.

0u8takumi7d3a0bfb_z.jpgSharisharishari + Takumi, Tea Ceremony Room. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

0exoskeletal_2495874k.jpgChristiaan Zwanikken, Exoskeletal. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

0a8russee6549f2b1.jpgAlexei Shulgin, Rotating Landscapes. Image Happy Famous Artists

0a8piotr5e988_z.jpgPiotr Jedrzejewski. Photo by Luke Neve for Kinetica

0a8fair_view03367e_z.jpgPhoto by Luke Neve for Kinetica

More images on Happy Famous Artists and on my flickr set. The Torygraph has a stunning gallery.

Previously: The Kinetica Art Fair (part 1), The Kinetica Art Fair (part 2) and Soundwaves.