I had an invite to the opening of Kinetica, a new Kinetic arts museum in Spitalfields the other night. By it’s own description, “Kinetica is the UK’s first museum of kinetic art”, and who am I to doubt it? It’s quite an interesting place, in a very good setting in old Spitalfields too. The tactile quality of the robots was quite amazing and the compressed air hydraulics that kept them moving gave them an impression of strength. (I can’t help thinking that making robots is an occupation where you could easily lose a finger.) The semi-human forms are very well sculpted, capturing a lot of the essences of skeletal structures without being literally bone-shaped, and it’s all quite Terminator-ish at times. It’s one thing if a fairly scary looking robot is sitting there playing the drums, it’s another if it starts hopping towards you.
As well as the fun robotics there are some slightly lower key but still interesting works upstairs, including a couple of disembodied arms that write the same piece of text over and over again on a scrolling piece of paper. Very odd, and still quite unnerving.
The opening of Kinetica covered by Channel 4
BBC’s coverage of Kinetica’s opening