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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Kinetica Art Fair

Pascal Bettex

Last month I went to Kinetica Art Fair. If you love mad machines and sculpture that moves or uses light and sound then do sign up for their mailing list, I'm already looking forward to next years. It can be a whole day out as all the makers are enthusiasts and so it's really friendly and you chat to lots of people; there are talks and performances to go to and a great cafe. I find it so utterly heartening that all these people are out there creating this kind of stuff.

Mark Zirpel

I went via a Pilchuck Glass School connection, Scott Benefield, who was going to see Seattle artist Mark Zirpel's stand there with Michael Klein Arts and to his talk. Working with glass is only one branch of his artwork, he makes machines, devised from scratch, using gathered parts of bikes, washing or sewing machines etc.,inspired by all sorts of things - this collection by the solar system and some were solar powered.

I did take some photos here but really it's hard to capture the delight of the works at Kinetica because they're alive and doing stuff - so do go next year, and check out the other artists and info on the Kinetica website.
Perhaps the machine that impressed me most was Patrick Tresset's portrait drawing robot called Paul, below he's just starting mine.

Patrick Tresset, The Aikon Project

He scribbles and signs his signature with a flourish before resting. I know he's a robot but there was something mesmerising and unnerving about his attention and intention in making a drawing. Do watch the videos on the Aikon Project website.

For some reason he zoomed in on my portrait, others had the full face, I like it's quality: the biro scribbling. To me it's a little unsettling, like he's looked deep into my pupils, maybe because of the zoom-in but what he's really done is just built up tone layers - but how you create a robot to do this is sheer magic to me.


  1. What fantastic work. I think the robotic portrait is amazing. Can't begin to imagine how this works! Sx

  2. I agree Sarah - I LOVE that portrait - how clever!!!!


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