Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Wonder: Sculptor Reuben Margolin

Renowned kinetic sculptor Reuben Heday Margolin, of Berkeley, California, makes art that moves. His work ranges from mechanical butterflies made from rickshaws and bamboo, to digital and cam-driven caterpillars, to a soda fountain of 400 recycled aluminum cans and pulleys, to a pedal-powered park. Even Margolin's drawings show figures in movement. 

Among Margolin's most recent and intriguing installations are his series titled Waves, which encompass everything from "simple" suspended rings that move up and down and from side to side (Yellow Rings) to a system of 500 pulleys and cable (Double Raindrop) that elegantly portrays "the interference caused by two raindrops landing near each other in water".

Margolin's installations are not only brilliantly conceived and realized; they're breathtaking to behold, and often they'll leave you in awe as you watch them twist, turn, sway, rise and fall. Below are videos of two of Margolin's complex creations. The first, Neko's Nebula (2009) is made of 8,000 plastic beads, wire, string, wood, and an electric motor. Margolin describes the 14-foot-tall sculpture as his "first experiment with a wave traveling in a Yin Yang pattern, as well as my first try at a hollow multi-tiered structure."  (Images are here.) The second video depicts Magic Wave (2008), which Margolin and collaborators at Technorama structured from an aluminum grid suspended by 256 cables and overhead mechanics requiring 3,000 pulleys, 5 kilometers of steel cable, and 9 motors. (Images are here.) The sculpture illustrates three characteristics of waves: wavelength, amplitude, and frequency. 

Take the few minutes necessary to view these videos and you'll understand why I've selected Margolin as today's Wednesday Wonder.





Margolin's Helix Wave has been installed in the Great Hall of the recently opened Museum of Discovery in Little Rock, Arkansas. (See the Permanent Exhibits page for more information.)

7 comments:

Hannah Stephenson said...

Mesmerizing!!

Cindy Brown said...

Totally trippy and awesomely amazing. Love it! I want one outside my window! Just another thing to add to the list of what I want to buy when I win the giant lottery...

Karenee Eck said...

Thanks to you, I've found a new artist to "stalk" ... I love the flow and motion of his work!

Louise Gallagher said...

Awestruck!!!!

I couldn't get music on the first video for some reason but the second one, with the music was stunning -- the first one even without music was pretty sublime!

Maureen said...

Louise, the first video is not accompanied by sound. I clicked back over to YouTube to make sure.

nance marie said...

music and light action made a real show of it for sure.
imagine that...wave action, without sea sickness.
what a work, and interesting.

elisasspot said...

I have been thinking about and revisiting this post over and over. I just posted the video of Magic Wave and a small present of gratitude for you at Elisa's Spot.