Kinetic Art Exhibition 5000 Moving Parts

Ialu by John Douglas Powers

Ialu, John Douglas Powers

Features large-scale works by leading contemporary kinetic artists: Arthur Ganson, Anne Lilly, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and John Douglas Powers

On view November 21, 2013-January 19, 2015

Cambridge, MA, September 30, 2013—The MIT Museum announces a new exhibition, 5000 Moving Parts, on view from November 21, 2013-January 19, 2015. Curated by Laura Knott this exhibition will feature large-scale works by four North American artists whose sculptures and interactive machinery show the wide range of work taking place in the contemporary kinetic art field. Using a variety of materials, sensory experiences and philosophical underpinnings, the artists whose work appears in this exhibition have created experiences that are at once mesmerizing, hypnotic and thought provoking.

Artists participating in this New England exhibition at the MIT Museum are: Arthur Ganson, Anne Lilly, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, and John Douglas Powers. Superb craftsmanship supporting a deeply envisioned understanding of the way we live today, binds these artists together. With a mechanically-based call and response style that underlies each piece in this show, the artists encourage viewers to notice motion that surrounds them: the hidden forces of magnetism, the motion of the natural environment, and our increasing interactions with technologies of surveillance. Their works reward viewers with rich sensory experiences.

This “year of kinetic art” at the MIT Museum—in addition to the exhibition, includes robust public programs and a process gallery designed to engage all ages and learning styles. Director of Exhibitions, Alexander Goldowsky explains that, “with the addition of a process gallery to this exhibition we’ll encourage Museum visitors to experience MIT’s ‘mind and hand’ motto. Thinking by making things is deeply rooted in the process of engineering, and the process gallery activities will provide opportunities for visitors who are inspired by this exhibition to explore aspects of both artistic and engineering processes that come together in kinetic art.”

Arthur Ganson’s sculptures show that mechanical motion based on gears and pulleys, while originally designed to speed things up, can now be used to help us all slow down. Visitors to the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts have been invited to smile, to reflect, and to take time to enjoy a changing display of Ganson’s mostly interactive, moving sculptures on exhibit since the mid-1990’s following his time as a visiting artist at MIT. Ganson is working with sound artist Christina Campanella to include in 5000 Moving Parts an audio component in his piece titled Machine with Breath.

In Ialu, the large-scale work by John Douglas Powers, the sound of reeds moving against each other is evocative of the Mid-western countryside of the artist’s childhood, and inspired by the artist’s travels to Buddhist temples in Japan. The notion of a temple is what visitors will experience as they sit, watch and listen to the motion of Ialu. Curator Laura Knott explains her reaction to seeing the piece for the first time, “Being in the same room with Ialu confirmed the ideas I've been exploring—that what makes kinetic art so compelling is the complete kinesthetic experience—seeing, walking, bending, straining to hear, and staying with the work for a long time—it was mesmerizing.” On view for the first time in New England, this and other works by John Douglas Powers will undoubtedly inspire visitors to engage more deeply with our own regional landscape.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, explores the notion of reflection in a deeply personal way. He “mis-uses” technologies to tackle their infringement upon modern life. In 5000 Moving Parts, his piece Please Empty Your Pockets will be on display inviting visitors to do just what the title says. One may place an object on a conveyor belt to be scanned, after which the image is displayed in juxtaposition to the thousands of articles scanned thus far. Lozano-Hemmer’s sculptures, responsive environments, video installations and photographs have been shown in museums throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. In 2007 he represented Mexico at the Venice Biennale, and recently created Voice Tunnel, and interactive light and sound installation in a Park Avenue tunnel in New York City.

Artist Anne Lilly who works and teaches in Massachusetts, has received a range of commissions, awards and honors for her small and large scale work made of machined stainless steel. Her use of carefully engineered motion to shift and manipulate our perceptions of time and space elicit new connections between the physical space outside ourselves and our own private, psychological domain. Lilly will be creating a new large format piece of sculpture for this exhibition and will show smaller pieces as well. She plans on speaking to MIT Museum visitors during the Second Friday evening program on December 13, 2013.

5000 Moving Parts grew from the understanding that visitors to the MIT Museum have long wondered at and enjoyed the work of Arthur Ganson. With that thought in mind, the exhibition, education and program staff at the MIT Museum are working on a plan to deepen the comprehension of kinetic art during the coming year. Programs include meet the artist events, the 16th annual Friday After Thanksgiving chain reaction extravaganza led by Ganson, yoga in the gallery, demonstrations and more.

Media Contacts:
Leah Talatinian
Communications Manager, Arts at MIT | 617-253-5351

Regina Norfolk
RN Communications, LLC | 508-494-6630


A Year of Kinetic Art: Related Programs
Details about each program

October 11, 2013
Second Fridays, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Design your Friday After Thanksgiving (F.A.T.) Chain Reaction with Arthur Ganson.

November 29, 2013
Friday After Thanksgiving, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Rockwell Cage Gymnasium, MIT Campus
MIT Museum's annual family event&emdash;a large-scale chain reaction hosted by sculptor Arthur Ganson.

December 3, 2013
Breathing Movement into Art, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Practice yoga with artist Arthur Ganson, after hours in the gallery to learn about unity and movement in Ganson’s artistic practice. Bring your own mat! Pre-registration required.

December 13, 2013
Second Fridays, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Learn about kinetic art with artist Anne Lilly and Laura Knott, curator of 5000 Moving Parts.




About the Curator
Guest curator Laura Knott worked at the MIT Museum for seven years, where she helped develop many exhibitions at the intersections of art, science and technology. She holds degrees from Duke University and MIT, and has been the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, state arts agencies, and from The Shifting Foundation. An editor and author in the field of contemporary art and culture, Knott is the founder of Cultureburg, an art services company.

About the MIT Museum
The MIT Museum features exhibitions at the nexus of art, science and technology. Ongoing and changing exhibitions provide insight to some of the most exciting research taking place at MIT including photographic imagery from holograms to the traditional photograph, the history of artificial intelligence, kinetic sculpture and regular demonstrations by MIT researchers and inventors. Annual programs and special events for families include the Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction extravaganza, National Engineers Week workshops in February, and the 10-day Cambridge Science Festival held every April.

About the Arts at MIT
The arts at MIT connect creative minds across disciplines and encourage a lifetime of exploration and self-discovery. They are rooted in experimentation, risk-taking and imaginative problem-solving. The arts strengthen MIT’s commitment to the aesthetic, human, and social dimensions of research and innovation. Artistic knowledge and creation exemplify our motto - mens et manus, mind and hand. The arts are essential to MIT’s mission to build a better society and meet the challenges of the 21st century.


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