Kinetic art is art from any medium that contains movement perceivable by the viewer or depends on motion for its effect. Canvas paintings that extend the viewer's perspective of the artwork and incorporate multidimensional movement are the earliest examples of kinetic art.
- Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author
A - F
- How can art be realized?
- Out of volumes, motion, spaces bounded by the great space, the universe.
- Out of different masses, tight, heavy, middling—indicated by variations of size or color—directional line—vectors which represent speeds, velocities, accelerations, forces, etc. . . .—these directions making between them meaningful angles, and senses, together defining one big conclusion or many.
- Spaces, volumes, suggested by the smallest means in contrast to their mass, or even including them, juxtaposed, pierced by vectors, crossed by speeds.
- Nothing at all of this is fixed.
- Each element able to move, to stir, to oscillate, to come and go in its relationships with the other elements in its universe.
- It must not be just a fleeting moment but a physical bond between the varying events in life.
- Not extractions,
- But abstractions
- Abstractions that are like nothing in life except in their manner of reacting.
- Alexander Calder Abstraction-Création, Art Non Figuratif, no. 1, 1932
G - L
- Space and time are the only forms on which life is built and hence art must be constructed... The realisation of our perceptions of the world in the forms of space and time is the only aim of our pictorial and plastic art... We renounce the thousand-year-old delusion in art that held the static rhythms as the only elements of the plastic and pictorial arts. We affirm in these arts a new element, the kinetic rhythms as the basic forms of our perception of real time.
- Nicolas Schöffer (1912–1992) formulated his idea of a kinetic art that was not only active and reactive, like the work of his contemporaries, but also autonomous and proactive, in Paris in the 1950s. He developed sculptural concepts he called Spatiodynamism (1948).
- Phil Husbands, Owen Holland, Michael Wheeler (2008). The Mechanical Mind in History, p. 265
- Kinetic art was created by artists who pushed the boundaries of traditional, static art forms to introduce visual experiences that would engage the audience and profoundly change the course of modern art.
M - R
- In the 1960s the works of Takis and Tinguely were experiments with different forces, both magnetic and kinetic. My work differed from theirs, for although my kinetic art works used machines, the works themselves moved in random organic ways and avoided the monotonous repetitive movements of most machines. My land art projects and all the rest of my cosmic propulsions were born out of the organic and my relation with the dynamics of nature. When I first exhibited with Liliane Lijn at the Indica Gallery in London in 1967 I called my artworks bio-kinetic sculptures. Some of my artworks in that show are featured in the film I’ll Never Forget What’s’isname by the English director Michael Winner.
- What is the significance of viewer participation in your work?
It has to do with kinetic art. Kinetic art has very much to do with the interaction between spectator and art. In the second half of the ’50s, this became a big international movement. When I moved from painting to connections within media, this came through in the first work, which was an exhibition of found cardboard pieces. It was a turning point for me. The world itself, the industrial fabricated world, could stand for the man-made world of art.
- Kinetic art is manifest in a rich variety of ways from floating mobiles to thumping mechanics, each sharing a common focus, an aesthetic of movement. For architecture the current motivation for kinetic facades tends to be utilitarian, but the instinct that drives this enquiry is the potential for poetic composition.
- Jules Moloney (2011), Designing Kinetics for Architectural Facades: State Change. Chapter 4. p. 89
- While aesthetics generated by movement can be traced back to ancient wind chimes, the beginning of kinetic art is associated with avant-garde experimentation of the early twentieth century. The generally acknowledged starting point is Naum Gabo’s 1920 publication of the realist manifesto and his exhibition of Virtual Kinetic Volume in the same year. Kinetic art explicitly introduced the temporal dimension into art, and movement was incorporated into works hung and framed as conventional paintings, freestanding sculpture both in and outside the gallery, machine works, and installations at a range of scales. With Alexander Calder’s exhibition of mobiles in Paris and New York in 1932, the genre received heightened exposure. He dominated the pre-war period with a series of developments on the mobile theme, while the most prolific period for kinetic art was during the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to the continuing popularity of Calder, prominent artists include Schoeffer, Takis, Len Lye and George Rickey.
- Jules Moloney (2011), Designing Kinetics for Architectural Facades: State Change. Chapter 4. p. 106
- One of the main reasons for my interest early on in the art and technology relationship was that during my studies of movement and light in art I was struck by the technical components in this art. Contrary to most, if not all, specialists in the field who put the stress on purely plastic issues and in the first place on the constructivist tradition, I was convinced that the technical and technological elements played a decisive part in this art. One almost paradoxical experience was my encounter with the kinetic artist and author of the book Constructivism, George Rickey, and my discovery of the most subtle technical movements in his mobile sculptures. But what seemed to me still more decisive for my option towards the art and technology problematic was the encounter in the early 1950s with artists like Nicholas Schöffer and Frank Malina whose works were based on some first hand or second hand scientific knowledge and who effectively or symbolically employed contemporary technological elements that gave their works a prospective cultural meaning. The same sentiment prevailed in me when I encountered similar artistic endeavors from the 1950s onwards in the works of Piotr Kowalski, Roy Ascott and many others which confirmed me in the aesthetic option I had taken, particularly when I discovered that this option was not antinomic (contradictory) to another aspect of the creative works of the time, i.e. spectator participation.
- Frank Popper in: Joseph Nechvatal. in: "Origins of Virtualism: An Interview with Frank Popper," in: Media Art History, 2004.
S - Z
- The old art depicted space as uniform and enclosed. The new art perceives space as organic and open. The old art was an object. The new art is a system. The configuration of the movement is more important than the shape of the object. The message of a kinetic and luminic work is the light and movement it produces. It has no other message. It has no meaning besides movement.
- THE ONLY STABLE THING IS MOVEMENT
- Jean Tinguely (1956) in letter to Peter Selz; quoted in: Osbel Suárez et al. (2007) Lo[s] cinético[s]. p. 256.