"Amber: Baltic Gold" has been extended to May 31.
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Explore the Objects

The beauty of the machine is most visible when its parts are seen in motion, which is precisely what early-20th-century artists tried to do in painting, sculpture, and film. This idea, however, can only be fully realized when art itself becomes a mechanical device. This kind of machine art can be described as kinetic art—art that embodies movement. Kinetic artworks may have mechanical parts or not (mobiles), may be run by a motor or a computer, and may respond to external, environmental prompts.

The impact of the machine on everyday life also prompted wonderful popular art, such as the whimsical machine drawings of the British illustrator William Heath Robinson (1872-1944), and his American counterpart, Rube Goldberg (1883-1970). Their fantastical, complicated, improbable machines were designed to fulfil the most unlikely of tasks and their ridiculously funny inventions lived on in the movies. More recently, prompted by the internet, these pointless and engaging inventions have proliferated in ever widely ramifying forms.

Jeffrey Shaw
The Spatial Pendulum, 1990/2020
Motorized metal construction, interactive software application, computer, user interface
The installation was commissioned in 1990 for the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), Amsterdam, but never completed. It was conceived as a large steel ball suspended on motorized pulleys within the CWI atrium, with the institute’s researchers having real time networked control of its flight path. Now in 2020 the work has been finally realized albeit on a smaller scale, with a new engineering design by Joseph Chan, with application software by Adolf Matthias, and public interaction.
Warren Leung
Untitled (book flying and crashing), 2020
Book, machine (reversible motor)
A book is flying in its orbit and crashes. It starts over and crashes again.
Tobias Klein, Jane Prophet
Common Datum, 2020
Nylon (black), 3D print, glass, atmospheric water generators, etched brass
Common Datum is an environmentally reactive, hygroscopic sculpture. A series of suspended vessels continuously absorb the humidity in the exhibition – generated through the breath of the audience. Slowly each 3D printed vessel, consisting of multiple intersecting volumes, accumulates water. Even though all vessels are of individual shapes, locally absorbing moisture at a different rate, a common datum is created throughout, as all vessels are interconnected.
Tobias Klein, Jane Prophet, and Pok Yin Victor Leung
Blood Work 2.0, 2020
Nylon, 3D printed glass, suspension and Ferro fluid
Blood Work 2.0 is a biologically inspired, transparent kinetic sculpture filled with Ferro fluid liquids contained in interlocking blown glass structures supported by a gyroscope-like framework. Liquids move as the sculpture shifts and spins, reacting to changes in its position in space and magnetic fields.
Joseph Chan
Carnival, 2020
Mixed media
Carnival is an authentic Rube Goldberg style installation, specially commissioned for this exhibition, where the viewer can delight in tracing the movement of the silver marbles through the pathways of a machine. Here, the intricate motions of the marbles can be appreciated for their own sake.
Louis Nixon
Rolling Barrel 2020, 2020
Super 8 film, monitor, lift
Rolling Barrel 2020 is an adapted film version of a sculptural work. An Esso Oil barrel, mechanised using a concealed computer-controlled motor system, rolls continually across the gallery’s floor, crashing into the walls on either side, gradually marking the floors and walls. Rolling Barrell 2020 is made from edited super 8 film of the original work, adapted to the vertical space and motion of the Gallery lift, where it rolls horizontally on a screen with the movement of the lift and the repetitive opening and closing of its doors.