Spring 2007

Intro to Kinetic Art  

Room G-6, Collins Basement/Steel shop and
Tower 320

Tues 2 - 6:30
Instructor: Christy Georg
Email: christygeorg007@gmail.com




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Course Description:
This course is intended for object makers, to introduce motion into their sculpture. An overview on the history of kinetic art is provided to inspire a richness of conceptual thinking. The course is directed toward a final project of the student’s design, which may be sculpture, installation, performance, costume, robotics, toys, etc. Issues covered include: mechanism design and troubleshooting, hand-cranks, ratchets, solenoids, motors, drive systems, and basic construction techniques aimed at building safe and reliable kinetic art.

The objective is to demystify kinetic motion and incorporate this knowledge into the production of animated objects in interesting ways.

This begins with an introduction to the basic machines (lever, pulley, inclined plane, screw, wheel & axel) as illustrated in Basic Machines and How the Work, published by the Navy.

Course Requirements:
Attendance, don’t miss more than 2 days
Participation in discussions,critique sessions, and the group project
Final project, consisting of a project description on paper and utilizing mechanical motion

Weekly Schedule (subject to change)
Time will be divided into four parts: presentation/discussion of kinetic work, “how-to” process session, critiques, and open work time




Jan. 23


Discussion: your experience of/with kinetic art.Video: Fischili and Weiss "The Way things Go," Arthur Ganson, Survival Research Labs, Calder's Circus, other video/slides/web.

*ASSIGNMENT: 1. browse the class website (http://www.christygeorg.com/class_stimuli)Write down at least 5 sites/ things you discovered and why they are of interest to you.    Write down 5 things you discovered which you don't like.Be prepared to discuss them with the class next week. 2. Buy or xerox the book: Basic Machines and How They Work, published by the U.S.

Jan 30

"Glamour and Pitfalls of Kinetic Art" concept discussion/presentation. Students present kinetic works they discovered as last week's assignment

Introduction to Mechanical movement: LEVERS and linkages.   Sources: Basic Machines and How They Work (Navy):, The Way Things Work (Macaulay), www.flyingpig.com

*ASSIGNMENT:   Look into free/cheap Museum of Science Pass for Feb. 13 from Boston Public Libraries, Read Ch. 1 through 5 in Basic Machines and How They Work

Feb. 6

Deconstructing "real life" mechanisms: process/discussion: wind up toy, music boxIntroduction to Mechanical movement: BLOCK AND TACKLE, WHEEL & AXEL, and INCLINED PLANE & SCREW

Process: begin group project

*ASSIGNMENT: 1. Read Ch. 6 through 8 in Basic Machines and How they Work

GET Boston Public Library passes for discounted Museum of Science entry.

Feb. 13


See/discuss the wall of machines, combustion engine, Mathematica room

*ASSIGNMENT: 1. You must have read Ch 1 -8 in Basic Machines by now. 2. Begin to prepare ideas and sketches: possibilities for your final project

Feb. 20 --pickup your project in T-320 and work in G-6

Group project continued
Group presentations of projects/ Class discussion of basic machines involved and linkages.
Demonstration: Helpful hardware and gizmos

*ASSIGNMENT: 1. prepare ideas and sketches: possibilities for your final project- bring 2 or 3 to discuss as a class, 2. spend some quality time at www.flyingpig.com looking at different kinds of linkages, cams, etc. to help you.

Feb. 27

Critique ideas for final projects

ASSIGNMENT: final project description (this includes a full paragraph description, as well as clear drawings which illustrate its construction/ mechanical functions) This must be turned in on Mar. 13 and you'll discuss it with the class.

Mar. 6


Mar. 13 --meet in Tower 320

Final Project Description Due: discuss with class

Troubleshoot, discuss material, how tos, etc.

Mar. 20

Process: drive system and oscillating motions, cranks and cams

open work time/ individual meetings

Mar. 27

"New Technology Based Works" short discussion/presentation

open work time/ individual meetings

Apr. 3

open work time/individual meetings

Special visitor presentation

Apr. 10

Problem solving for final projects

Apr. 17

Problem solving for final projects

Apr. 24

Final Critique, part 1 with guest critic

May 1

Final Critique, part 2 with guest

click here for link to
exciting information
and inspirational stimuli