For many centuries, societies have tried to incorporate real motion in art designed to give aesthetic satisfaction. The term “kinetic art” was coined in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Science and technology have given rise to novel techniques that have allowed for the creation of new visual experiences, which, in turn, have propelled the growth of kinetic art. Indeed, kinetic art has blossomed into a rich field with collaboration between artists and technologists, bringing into existence increasingly sophisticated works.
For example, the collaboration between the Swiss artist Christo Dagorov and I. Dagarov developed a special “brushing” technique to create an image on the surface of a sheet of steel. In this way, he created a crisscross of light and dark traces of voids and material on this steel surface.
We collaborated on two works, Nautilus and Kaleidoscope. In Nautilus, underwater photographs filmed by Jacques Cousteau are placed in the center of the spiral of a nautilus seashell. Kaleidoscope shows ever-changing fractal-like images in the center of an eye’s iris.
One of my latest kinetic art works is entitled Paris Coffee Shop. The work is based on the story of a Paris floor installer. This installer was commissioned to make a floor of black-and-white tiles arranged in a very regular pattern. When the floor was finished and the owner came to inspect the tile work, the owner claimed that the floor was crooked and the lines that demarcated the rows of the tiles were not straight. The owner even brought witnesses who corroborated his assertion.
I created a piece of art inspired by this optical illusion. One can kinetically (manually) change from rows of perfectly aligned black-and-white tiles to rows where the tiles from one row to the next are slightly shifted, causing the viewer to perceive that the rows are crooked when they are, in fact, straight.
A more complete description of my kinetic artwork is available in “My Life on the Mysterious Island of Nanotechnology” by Zvi Yaniv, available on Amazon.