Xiao Fei Dyson’s kinetic drawing machines

I’d been experimenting with movement in one of my sculpture projects, so I was happy to see a ‘Kinetic Drawing Workshop’ come up as part of Jotta’s 3rd birthday celebrations. I’d seen Xiao Fei Dyson’s work at Kinetica earlier in the year too, so I signed up straight away. It took place in Newburgh St, London and was a tiny class so we got a lot of attention! Xiao Fei was a great teacher; full of enthusiasm and eager to pass on that he’d discovered from his working practise.

We’d been asked to bring some battery powered toys to take apart and use but in fact this was probably too ambitious to do in the time given. What was more fun (and effective) was just wiring up a little motor, a battery and a pen to make *really* simple drawing machines. These would change their line and movement quite radically with even the tiniest of adjustments to weight and balance, ie. using matchsticks and tape or gluing extra bits & pieces to the machines.

I was reminded (again!) that it’s generally more constructive to keep things super simple and use the restrictions to push against instead over complicating things and getting in a tangle of frustration.

Xiao Fei exhibited at Kinetica Artfair 2012; check out his blog with videos of some of his kinetic creations

jotta.com launched in February 2009 in partnership with the University of the Arts London to explore and facilitate collaboration in contemporary art and design.

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