A number of interesting sculptures and installations are made with "found objects" and I got to see a number of them at the Bay Area Maker Faire, at San Mateo, on 16th and 17th May. The focus in a Maker Faire is on do-it-yourself, on innovation, and on technology. This one was no exception, and had a whole lot of fresh ideas, products, and people.
I specially went to visit the Kinetic Art section. There was a lot of use of electronics to create movement, lights, sound or animation. And often the creations were quite dramatic!
This composition shown above looked metallic, yet fragile, and certainly seemed mobile, and with a mind of its own. It was like a giant insect! The coloured one with two coloured blades, seen behind was another piece, and looked like it may take off any moment!
This sculpture, again composed of found pieces, looked like an animated dancer, and you could imagine it dancing to some rhythmic music. The artist obviously has a huge collection of these spare pieces of wood, metal, glass and plastic, and uses them as per his imagination. All the pieces shared here were by Nemo Gould, an American artist, known for his kinetic "found-object" sculptures.
There were several pieces of Gould's, which used a fair amount of electronics as well. For example, there was a complex electronic "cuckoo clock" shown here.
In making these objects, artists have to brush up or learn on several skills like those of welding, glass blowing, soldering, sawing and on various materials.
That is where the appeal of events like the Maker Faire lie: in exposing a generation used to pushing and clicking buttons, to a whole lot of mechanical work with their hands.
Processes on cloth like stitching, knitting, quilting, crochet and embroidery all found their place at the Faire, and seemed to attract many young new learners. The events will no doubt keep growing each year!