All posts filed under “Kinetic

Ikea Robotics

ikea robotics

Ikea Robotics was created by Adam Lassy, a graduate from ITP New York. As explained on his site…

“A conceptual study of dynamic and responsive environments, using Ikea as the structural platform. I have modified an Ikea Lack table and an Urban chair to create mobile, wireless robots that can dynamically reconfigure interior space in response to people”.

What if furniture could move around, catering for your every need? What if furniture displayed animal characteristics, perhaps moving away from you as you approach, or getting bored and wandering away?

Video embedded here:

Watch more videos here. Reminds me also of Greyworlds concept for Bins & Benches.

ikea robotics

Speed of Light

Speed of Light

Speed of Light

Last week opened Speed of Light, a series of installations by United Visual Artists commissioned by Virgin Media to celebrate “the tenth anniversary of broadband in the UK”.

Located in the warehouse style building Bargehouse, just behind the main OXO Tower Wharf London.

I took a couple of photos, but there are much much nicer ones on Creative Review blog.

Following on from their work for the Y-3 Fashion Show, UVA have used software controlled lasers to create sculptural forms of light that define objects, animate through the space and bounce off mirrors.

The work isn’t as interactive or as responsive as some of their other installations (aside from answering questions and it using fragments of your voice through the building), but what it lacks in interaction feedback, it makes up for with plenty of atmosphere and the wonder of the experience itself.

I won’t describe what each installation throughout the building does, if you are interested read a walk through on Creative Review & Sermads Blog.

You only have until this Monday 19th April to see the show, and I highly recommend that you get to see it if you can. Any photos or video will never show it in its true form.

(watch bigger)

Speed of Light

Kinetica Art Fair 2010

Kinetica Art Fair
So last night I went to the opening of the Kinetica Art Fair, in the P3 gallery space London. Its never really a good idea to go to an opening night if you want to appreciate the work, as its always too crowded, but I’ll do my best. The show is on until 7th Feb and I do recommend you go and see this.

You can see my photos here. There are much nicer pics on the Telegraph site, also a video from the BBC.

Remember is that this is an art buyers fair, and nearly all of the work is for sale. This means that it is less of a curated exhibition, with a combination of artists selected by Kinetica and artists that have paid for their booth. Personally I’d prefer to see a yearly curated Kinetica exhibition, with less work and more focus on quality, but in todays economic climate that’s not so easy. That said, the majority of work is good & the show is definitely worth a visit.

There are themes that run through the show, with machines that draw things on paper, moving light patterns and persistence of vision, mechanical moving devices and digital works using LEDs & lcd screens. Like last year, Kinetica have combined the masters (works from 1920 through the 60s) along side more recent projects. I often prefer the more analogue moving objects and devices as they have a certain magic about them. The interactive pieces tended to have quite a shallow feedback loop, with sensors triggering video clips or sounds & not really adding that much to the experience, so perhaps they would have worked just as well without this.

So some works that stood out for me…

Bálint Bolygó
My favourite piece was Trace by Balint Bolygo, “A revolving plaster cast of the artist’s head is slowly deconstructed into a mathematical diagram that changes as time passes”. As the head rotates, the arm presses into the curves & shapes, mechanically moving a pen that is drawing a topographic image of the head.

Roseline de Thelin
Probably 2nd in my list would be these sculptures by Roseline de Thelin. Using only fibre optic cables, she has created these haunting figures, like ghosts in suspended animation. They don’t move unfortunately, but one could see how they could move slowly using a tight led mesh, but there is something nice about the approach taken in this piece & the way they are presented.

Then in no particular order…

Cinimod Studio
There are a couple of pieces using small LCD screens and in Flutter Cinimod Studio use them to demonstrate a butterfly in flight. Mounted against a mirror you get a reflection making them whole and having a line of screens gives it a sort of zoetrope or sort of onion skinning effect. The videos are controlled by overhead thermal cameras, but like many of the interactive pieces there its a feature that perhaps isn’t needed.

ocean of light
3d led matrix arrays have been done many times before, but squidsoup have created ocean of light that is quite a calming experience, feeling like the light shapes that move around within have volume to them. Watch video here.

And finally Revolver by Vincent Leclerc.

I’d be interested to hear what you think of the show & which works you like. Feel free to post a comment.

Musical Heads

Three examples of crazy musical heads…

murat n konar
drum|head was a small project by murat n konar a few years ago whilst he was studying at the Royal College of Art. Its a simple idea but lots of fun. Project a video of his face on to a foam face, when hit like a drum the facial expression changes. Watch video.

Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs Inc.
Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs Inc
This year Chris Cairns created the short film Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs. A real labor of love for the director, featuring many talented musicians. Its very well done, watch here.

Nathaniel Mellor
Nathaniel Mellor
(image source: Mute)
Artist Nathaniel Mellor’s animatronic recreation of ‘The Father’ from Giantbum, 2009. “part of a $75,000 art piece on sale at Art Basel Miami Beach 2009″ (Via Engadget). Watch video.

Fluid Sculpture

Fluid Sculpture

Following on from “The Superfluid Skirt” (2008), Casual Profanity is creating Fluid Sculpture, to be shown at the Maker Faire in May. By arranging interesting patterns with clear rubber tubes and pumping different colour liquids through them creates a soothing a beautiful sight.

Watch video

Reminds me of the work bit.flow from Julius Popp (shown below) that uses a ai system to create patterns & images that exist for only a moment in time. Watch video. Julius has no site right now, but more info here.


Kinetica Art Fair

Kinetica Art Fair

This Friday 27th is the opening of the Kinetica Art Fair in London until Monday 2nd March.

“The Kinetica Art Fair will provide collectors, curators, museums and the public with a unique opportunity to view and purchase artworks from leading international galleries, artist’s collectives, curatorial groups and organisations specialising in kinetic, electronic and new media art.”

There are many great artists and companies, as well as talks/workshops.

Cinimod Studio and I were invited to show Beacon, so come say hello if you will be there.

Topobo available to buy


One of my favorite projects, Topobo (2004), is now available to buy. Unfortunately its priced at $499 for a 100 piece kit, but it is aimed at schools afterall and I know they are expensive to produce. I played with it 2005 and am very happy that its made it into (limited) production.

“Topobo is the world’s first construction toy with kinetic memory, the ability to record and playback physical motion. Snap together Passive (static) and Active (motorized) pieces into a creation, and with a press of a button and a flick of your wrist, you can teach your creation how to dance or walk. The same way you can learn how buildings stand by stacking up blocks, you can discover how animals walk by playing with Topobo.”

Watch original video / more videos.

Invented by by Hayes Raffle and Amanda Parkes at the MIT Media Lab, its sort of a cross between the construction freedom of lego and the movements/learning of Soda Play, in a way.

There are many depths to the interaction and I’d highly recommend reading some of the research papers.



Beacon at Lightwave

Beacon is a kinetic light installation with a mind of its own. An array of emergency beacon lights interacts with visitors, tracking their movement through the space, creating an immersive and playful experience.

A collaborative project between myself (Chris O’Shea) and Cinimod Studio.

The installation exploits a transfer of technologies from existing industrial products. The beacon lights have had their internal parts replaced with custom hardware, enabling the rotation of the reflector and lamp brightness to be individually controlled. Thermal imaging cameras have been adapted to track the participants’ movement through the space.

‘Beacon’ is orchestrated in real-time by a bespoke control system, which uses tracking information from the cameras to coordinate an interactive and highly responsive behaviour.

Electrical Design and Engineering by White Wing Logic

Audience (updated)


(Work in progress image)

“We are in the finishing stages of building Audience, a new installation that will premiere on September 12th, 2008 at Wayne McGregor’s Deloitte Ignite Festival at the Royal Opera House in London. As a complement to the installation, McGregor has choreographed a short piece. For the development of the interactive aspects of Audience rAndom International are working with designer Chris O’Shea.

The Deloitte Ignite Festival will feature new works by Blast Theory, Julian Opie, Scanner and others. It is free but visitors will need to register for tickets (click buy). The festival runs from Friday, September 12th 10AM through to Sunday, September 14th, 5PM. We are looking forward to seeing you there”.

Some documentation now online –




Roca presents Waterdrop at 100% Design London. A spectacular and engaging experience capturing the beauty of water, designed by Héctor Serrano Studio.

Waterdrop invites us to enjoy and explore water without even using a drop, thereby representing Roca’s fundamental belief that innovation and sustainability can go hand in hand.

The central piece is a representation of the beautiful experience of a drop falling into water, creating an enigmatic movement and ripples. The installation uses innovative and sophisticated technology in an unexpected and inventive way to capture this captivating natural phenomenon.”

Watch the video. From the concept images and video it looks fantastic.


More from Héctor Serrano