8 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Kinetic Art

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What could be more exciting than kinetic art? That’s the art form that moves, either through the use of motors or solar power or just some clever engineering. But have you ever wondered about the history of kinetic art? We’ve put together this list of eight surprising facts you never knew about kinetic art to help anyone get a better understanding of this fascinating art form.

Vorticism was a school of modernist painting and sculpture started in England by Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, and others around 1914. The movement was influenced by Cubism, Futurism, and Expressionism and is defined by its emphasis on what its proponents believed to be the dynamics inherent in modern life. Vorticists took Cubist ideas of multiple perspectives and the representation of motion through time, but rather than applying these ideas to still objects as the Cubists did, they applied them to dynamic moving forms such as whirls, spirals, and vortexes. The movement is also notable for its juxtaposition of high-modernist abstractions with popular culture such as advertisements.

Tulips were first cultivated in western Europe during the 15th century. In Holland during the 17th century a mania for tulip bulbs swept across the country. In February 1637 prices began

Kinetic art is a form of art that incorporates movement. These works include sculptures, mobiles, kinetic light and sound pieces, and even films. Kinetic art is also known as moving art, mechanical art, or robotic art and some artists have even referred to themselves as “kineticists.”

The movement of kinetic art often occurs through the use of mechanical elements such as motors, gears, wheels, pulleys, levers and weights. Kinetic art may be interactive allowing the viewer to directly manipulate the artwork. Movement may be continuous or periodic. Some kinetic art can be set in motion by a person viewing it and then moves on its own; other pieces require an outside force such as a motor to move them.

Tumbling Dots by Naum Gabo (1925) is perhaps the earliest example of kinetic art which used series of discs mounted on steel shafts which spun in front of a light source. The first motorized kinetic sculpture was created in 1927 when Marcel Duchamp attached a motor to his Readymade Bicycle Wheel.*

Kinetic artworks are generally powered by electric motors but some kinetic sculptures utilize wind or solar power. A few wind-powered sculptures can even store energy for months or years to run when their sails are still again.*

Kinetic art is a kind of art that moves or changes in some way. It usually moves very slowly so that you can see how it changes. Kinetic art can be almost anything like a swinging pendulum or a moving light, but it is often made out of metal, wood, and glass. The earliest known example of kinetic art was made around 449 BC by the Greek inventor Ctesibius.


Kinetic art is a form of art in which movement is an essential aspect of the work. While this movement may often be conveyed by a combination of sound and light, it can also be physical movement within the piece itself. Kinetic sculptures are sometimes referred to as mobiles, a term that is more commonly applied to pieces that have no electronic components.

Taken as a group, kinetic artworks are frequently referred to by the less specific terms moving sculpture or moving art—though not all kinetic art works are sculptures, and not all moving art works are kinetic. However, “kinetic art” is used for both.

Kinetic Art comes in many forms: mobiles, furniture with moving parts or elements that move or rotate; actions or performances where people or things are moved by hand, wind or water power; light-activated objects; computer-controlled pieces; electrically driven pieces with motors and various gears and wheels; self-propelled robotic machines; and more recently, even autonomous robots.

The earliest known examples are catapults (devices used to launch projectiles a great distance) from ancient China circa the 5th century BC. The word “kinetic” was coined in 1887 by British sculptor Alexander Archipenko to describe works which

Before you even start to consider submitting your work to a museum, it’s important to understand what makes kinetic art so unique. Kinetic art is usually categorized as a form of sculpture, though it is more than just that. As with all forms of art, the term “kinetic” is hard to define, but there are some basic characteristics which most of us would agree on.

To help you get started with your own kinetic sculptures, we’ve compiled a list of eight facts about kinetic art that may surprise you.

1. Kinetic Art Is Not A New Concept

 Kinetic art has been around for hundreds of years, though it was not always referred to as such. In fact, many people are under the impression that this is a relatively new concept when in fact it has been around since the early 1900s. The idea behind kinetic art is that the pieces should be interactive and move or change based on their environment, rather than be static like most other forms of art. As technology and materials have evolved over time, so too have the ideas behind this form of art changed and evolved with them.

2. Vorticism Was A Popular Art Movement

Vorticism was an art movement which began in England in 1914 and was led by artist and

Kinetic art is a form of sculpture intended to be in motion, activated by either the viewer or by some kind of automated means. The movement can be very slow and subtle, as with “Balancing Water Level” (2003), by Chris Burden, which consists of a ball that is balanced on top of a thin rod. When the ball begins to move slightly, it causes the entire system to shift and glide across the floor.

Tadao Ando uses kinetic elements in his architectural design to create an ever changing effect. The lighting in his buildings are all dimmable to create a varied effect, with natural light and artificial light interacting in the space. In addition, he uses hinges and moving windows to create an even more complex relationship between interior and exterior spaces.

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Name:A Brief History of Time

1. Early kinetic art took many forms, including moving sculptures, films, and mechanical devices.

The earliest forms of kinetic art were mechanical devices such as automatons, which were first developed in ancient Greece and China. The word “kinetic,” meaning “motion,” was created in the late 19th century to describe works of art that moved or changed over time, such as some types of sculpture and films.

While all three mediums can be considered kinetic, they are very different in style. Mechanical devices were often driven by water power, while moving sculptures and films often used electric motors or film projectors. Today, artists are using more electronic mediums like computers to create kinetic artworks.

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