MASHUP: Art in Motion

By Jo Phillips

LauraBin_RisingBalance1 (Custom)

Design duo Laura Bin have released their first accessible product, Rising Balance: Time in Motion. The product is a candleholder, which is balanced with a circular stone. As the candlelight burns, the stone moves downward but both sides remain in balance. The Rising Balance candleholder represents earth and fire and the relationship between the two elements. The candleholder is made of brass, both cut by water and then perfected by hand. The stone is made of basalt. Rising Balance works as both art and homeware and presents the idea of art as motion.

the Rising Balance candleholder from Studio Laura Bin on Vimeo.

Laura Bin are designers Laura Klinkenberg and Bin Xu. More information about Rising Balance and Laura Bin can be found online.

Now, looking at art in motion comes the popular movement of kinetic art. Generally, kinetic art depends on motion for effect. The movement originated in the 19th century with artists such as Manet and Edgar Degas portraying the movement of human figures on canvas, but gained popularity in 1950s and 1960s when artists like Bridget Riley used shapes to create the illusion of movement. One major figure in the kinetic art movement is Naum Gabo.

Born in 1890, the Russian sculptor and artist is known for his contributions to the Constructivist movement. He is also known as an important figure of kinetic art. One of his key works is ‘Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave)’ which was built by Gabo between 1919-20 to demonstrate to his students how kinetic energy works. The piece features a steel rod, which is held by a black base, when activated by a button, the rod oscillates and creates the illusion of a three-dimensional shape. The name ‘Standing Wave’ captures the contrast of the two elements, the stillness of art and the movement of kinetic energy.


Naum Gabo 1890–1977, Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave), 1919–20, replica 1985, Tate. Presented by the artist through the American Federation of Arts 1966. © Nina & Graham Williams

You can view this work at the Tate Modern, as part of its Level 2: Artist and Society series. For more information visit here.

Another great example of art in motion was the 2013-14 exhibition on kinetic art at the MIT Museum called 5000 Moving Parts. The exhibition featured work from artists and sculptors such as Takis, John Douglas Powers and Anne Lilly.


‘Ialu’ by John Douglas Powers. Photo credit: Tina McCarthy.


‘Electro-magnetic I, No. 13’ by Takis. Photo credit: Tina McCarthy.


‘To Conjugate’ by Anne Lilly. Photo credit: Tina McCarthy.

To view these works in motion, the Boston Globe has published an article, which you can view here. For more information on the exhibition, click the link.

All of these artworks mentioned represent movement in art. We are often used to seeing still images but these represent change and development – a mashup of art, motion and time.


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