Casey Curran – Curiously insect-like Sculptures

Casey Curran, maker of weird and strangely endearing kinetic art.

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I stumbled upon the work of Casey Curran the other day, as a result of a friend ( a real one, not a Facebook one) posting one of his videos on their Facebook page, and was truly taken with his work.

As you will see in the following videos, his “machines” have a curious delicacy  about them, and on first glance seem to be alive, but very quickly that feeling fades away and one becomes aware that one is looking at an incredibly delicate machine, one that replicates in its own way the vastly speeded up life cycle of a plant.

This first video from his website shows very well what it is I mean as I think you will agree once you have seen it.

I am not sure if the music is simply a sound track for the video or if you actually hear music when the piece is being played in a gallery.  However that may be, I think this video demonstrates very well the work of this extraordinary artist.   The machinery that makes it happen is almost as much fun as the art work itself – though to be honest, I rather assume that it should be seen as a whole, and no separation between the moving, and the machinery that drives the movement.

As it is all made from bits of twisted metal wire, this obviously makes it move in a slightly jerky fashion, but I don’t find this any sort of a problem in fact, for me it merely strengthens the feeling that it is alive – though I expect this feeling is made stronger by seeing the work on a video rather than in the flesh as it were – lends it a sort of stuttery time exposure effect that we are used to seeing on TV documentaries.

That last one was worked by some sort of motor, but a lot of his works are simply provided with a hand crank, also made from relatively thin wire – not sure how that would bear up under over enthusiastic use – which gives the machine a very jerky movement, as you can see in the video below. Continue reading “Casey Curran – Curiously insect-like Sculptures”

High Five Machine – Totally Silly Gadget

The other day, whilst hunting for some Steam Punk stuff I came across this absolutely silly and pointless machine.

The idea seems to be to have a machine that gives itself endless high fives, which I suppose it actually achieves quite well.  This of course begs the obvious question, namely, why on earth would anyone want such a machine?  And even weirder, why would anyone go to the considerable troubles that the good soul who created this thing did?

As you will see, what he (or perhaps, she) has created here is a machine that very slowly and ponderously gives a series of high five salutes.  It is about as basic a machine as you can imagine, there has been no attempt to give it any sort of “finish”, which in fairness I suspect is simply because this is an early stage in the making of a properly finished bit of kinetic art.  So you will see a machine which is held in place with clamps with rubber arms that still have their sprue along the edges of the mould that was used to make them.

In many ways this machine is in the same area of philosophy as the “Ultimate Machine” which was invented by a bloke by the name of Marvin Minsky and actually built by another odd ball called Claude Shannon.  This was a machine that had as its only purpose the function of switching itself off.   So as you will see in the video below, when you push the switch on the outside of the box (the only control it has by the way), the lid slowly opens, and a hand comes out, and pushes the switch to the off position, and then flips back into its box again.

Continue reading “High Five Machine – Totally Silly Gadget”