When SCIENCE meets ART

Vitamindz Education

SUITABILITY LEVEL: P6

RELATED SCIENCE THEME (TOPIC):
1. Energy (Energy Conversion)

What comes to mind when you think of art? For many of us, a museum filled with paintings, or famous works such as Van Gogh’s The Starry Night comes to our minds. Or perhaps, you might be thinking of the beautiful drawing that you made during art class last week.

However, we are going to take a closer look at a particular type of art known as Kinetic Art. You may have heard the word ‘Kinetic’ used in the context of discussing kinetic energy in Science. Kinetic energy is the energy an object has due to its motion. When we kick a ball, swim laps in a pool, turn the wheels of a bike or watch a marble rolling, we are using and witnessing kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is all around us and even in us!

What is Kinetic Art then? Kinetic Art is art that moves. Most are sculptures. Some artists use wind, water, and nature to make their artwork move. Other artists rely on humans to push, pull, and move their sculptures. Electricity, machines, and robotics are all elements that can be used to make artwork move!

Anthony Howe is an artist that creates Kinetic Sculptures powered by wind. The sculptures are visually interesting patterns when still, but are mesmerizing when the wind powers their spinning, rotating, reflecting, and interweaving.

Image Source: https://mymodernmet.com/anthony-howe-kinetic-sculptures-wind/
Image Source: https://mymodernmet.com/anthony-howe-kinetic-sculptures-wind/
Video Source: https://vimeo.com/38348447

Physicist-turned-artist Theo Jansen also uses wind to create motion in his creations. However, instead of sculptures, he designs and builds large, beast-like mechanisms out of PVC that are able to move on their own. He calls them the Strandbeest.

Image Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/banggood-wind-walker-engineering-ZlnyVc10i0bHa/links
Video Source: http://www.exploratorium.edu/

Kinetic sculptors have incorporated motion into their works in a variety of creative ways. In addition to sculptures and mobiles powered by air currents, other installations have combined art and science to create moving displays featuring water, magnetism, electromechanical devices, and even the participation of spectators.

Whenever you are out in the malls or on the way to the MRT station, take a look at the spaces around you. You might even find a Kinetic Sculpture right in our very own sunny island! (Hint: There is one in Changi Airport!)

References:
https://mymodernmet.com/anthony-howe-kinetic-sculptures-wind/
https://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/55880753745
https://www.exploratorium.edu/strandbeest

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