"Melter 3-D" is a zoetrope, but it's physical. In other words, it's a kinetic sculpture that looks like an alien egg.
This past weekend, digital-art impresario Takeshi Murata premiered new work at gallery Ratio 3's space at the Frieze art fair. The artist is known for distorting and manipulating videos into chaotic-yet-stunning pieces of colorful geometry, and while his new work, Melter 3-D, is short on color, it is undoubtedly a work of incredible form—especially as it never maintains a consistent one, despite being physical.
Melter 3-D is by definition a zoetrope, a device that produce the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures, but it's tangible. In other words, the installation is a sculptural animation. The 3D-object itself spins, creating a kinetic effect (with the help of some strobe lights) that makes it look as if it's melting into itself.
Murata spent months configuring the object on a computer before making a physical incarnation with a master fabricator and mechanical engineers who typically work on high-profile Hollywood CGI projects. The result is truly extraordinary, as the part-animation part-sculpture looks like an alien egg, or something otherwordly. It's as if the orb has a pulse and life of its own that doesn't totally adhere to physics.
We've seen kinetic sculptures before, but few that look this organic and natural. If we didn't know better, witnessing this sculpture for the first time might inspire a call to Sigourney Weaver. See some photos of the work below:
Takeshi Murata, Melter 3-D, 2014
Images courtesy of the artist and Ratio 3, San Francisco
Visit Murata's website here: www.takeshimurata.com/
And Ratio 3's: www.ratio3.org/