Kinetic Sculpture


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Cirque de la Lune




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Flyer VI


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Flyer IX


About The Flyer

In the summer of 1986, I was working on a series of anthropomorphic mechanical sculptures. These sculptures contained circulatory systems which collected moisture from the atmosphere and produced condensation on the sculptures' surfaces. They fed on propane to maintain flames and on electrical current to maintain their internal circulatory system, however without fuel and electricity these early anthropomorphic machines could not sustain a metaphorical life.

Originally constructed of steel and fiberglass, the first flyer was life size, designed to be geared and motor driven like the other anthropomorphic machines. However the unexpected grace and soothing motion derived from the natural momentum of the figure with it's counter balance was so pure, that I preferred not to destroy this by using electrical power and constant speed.

My work on the orbiting flyers continued. And early in 1991 the first small bronze flyer maquettes were completed. These bronze maquettes have varying orbits, spanning areas as small as 6", and up to 29"

The arching figures were first modeled in plastiline, molded and cast in bronze using the lost wax method of casting. Bronze rods attach the figure and axle to the frame. Each frame is carefully cut out of bronze plate. A great deal of time is spent on finishing the metal in preparation for the patina. Special chemicals are mixed, then applied to the surface of the bronze, creating a variety of colorful patinas.

A Flyer is set in motion with a playful push by the spectator. It continues to orbit around and over the axle using the simple forces of gravity and mass. Finally when the momentum is no longer enough to pull the figure over the axle, the figure moves rhythmically to and fro, like a clock's pendulum, until it is set into orbit again.

Although they do not speak directly about time, they do encompass elements of rhythm, balance and motion. Each flyer has it's own life, it's own truth, grounded only by the earth and its gravity.

Rein Triefeldt

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