30 Hypnotic Kinetic Sculptures You Can’t Ignore

You have seen beautiful and elegant paintings on walls; lots of them, I am certain. You’ve also seen paper sculptures (or wood or even fruit) made by master artisans. But have you seen moving artworks or sculptures?

They are called Kinetic Sculptures, and they are what you expect them to be: they are artworks and sculptures that actually move. These moving sculptures aren’t that common, especially since it takes a lot of time to plan and build them. But one thing is for sure, they create hypnotic, spell-binding illusions that will make it very, very hard for you to look away.

The ones shown below are GIFs specially created to illustrate certain parts of the videos they were taken from. For the full video, follow the links provided.

1. Bussola

This is a hypnotic kinetic artwork by Jennifer Townley. The double helix sculpture makes repetitive twists, which merge into a complex pattern, while they rotate in their own axis.

2. BMW Museum Kinetic Scuplture

This kinetic sculpture by BMW leveraged 714 metal balls hung from the ceiling with thin wires. The outcome is a kinetic sculpture that is in the outline of their cars.

3. Headspace

A kinetic sculpture by Geoffrey Drake-Brockman that uses 256 moving rods, this is Headspace. The sculpture is displayed at a grammar school in Perth, Australia. The rods move independently of each other.

4. MetalMorphosis

A kinetic sculpture depicting a huge human head by David Černý that can be seen in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 14 ton stainless steel kinetic sculpture also serves as a fountain in the Arco Corporate Drive business park.

5. Aperture

A kinetic sculpture by David C. Roy that uses wood and two mechanisms that make the entire sculpture dance in a seemingly random order. The kinetic sculpture was created in 1993 as part of a limited edition kinetic sculpture by David Roy. You can find more at his site, Wood That Works.

6. On Eagle’s Wings

A kinetic art sculpture by Nick Diemel On Eagle’s Wings is a moving wall art. It is made of wood plus some machinations that help make it move. The name of the piece is inspired by how the sculpture resembles an eagle in mid-flight over the horizon.

7. Tele Present Water

An elegant moving sculpture by David Bowen that uses steel rods and strings to recreate a wave movement. It moves like how a puppet/marionette would. Aside from the movement, there is also a rain effect.

8. Chief

Chief is a stunning, 300-pound kinetic sculpture by Anthony Howe that leverages on the wind to move. It is 200 feet tall, 64 feet wide, and 64 feet in diameter.

9. Fishbone

Another kinetic sculpture that uses wind to move, Fishbone emulates the swimming movement of a fish in water. It is made of stainless steel and an invention by Patryk Krol.

10. Updated Unicyclist

A balancing unicyclist desk toy created by Kyles Kinetics. It’s more of a toy than an art piece, but it looks good enough to work as an office accessory. The self-balancing unicyclist can be tilted to extreme degrees without falling over.

11. Breaking Wave

Breaking Wave is a kinetic sculpture made with 804 metallic balls which illustrates our quest to find order in chaos. And find it they did from two specific perspectives: a “labyrinth within the circle” and a “spiral pattern”. Watch the video to see it in action.

12. Asobi by Yasutoki Kariya

A Newton’s Cradle reimagined by Yasutoki Kariya; Asobi utilized lightbulbs instead of metall balls to make a perpertual motion device that transfers electricity, and ultimately light, to each extreme end of the sculpture.

13. Avian Pursuit Kinetic Sculpture

A kinetic sculpture by Bob Potts that aims to recreate how avians move their wings in flight.

14. Rotating Head by Marcus Raetz

Marcuz Raetz created this rotating head using light and the three-dimensional effects of rotating metal pieces. The illusion results in a “head turning” display.

15. U-Ram Choe’s ‘Guardian of the Hole’ at the Asia Society Museum

“Guardian of the Hole” is a kinetic sculptureby U-Ram Choe that can be found in the Asia Society Museum. It’s an art depiction of movements we recognize as life, like the belly of a beast in mid-breath.

16. Merlot

Merlot is a wooden kinetic sculpture made by Derek Hugger. The artwork is composed of wood and can actually be recreated using the guides found on Hugger’s website.

17. About Face

About Face by Anthony Howe is made using copper panels. As the wind hits it, an internal system of complex gears are set in motion, making the copper cups turn themselves around.

18. The Orrery

The Orrery was built by Ken Toonz over the course of ten months. It recreates the motion of the planets in our solar system using a series of intricate gears on top of each other. It also works as a calendar.

19. Matrix by David C Roy

Matrix was built by artist David C. Roy. The Matrix can run for 3 hours straight by just winding the panels 24 times. It is made completely out of wood and works perfectly as a moving wall art.

20. Animaris Gubernare

Animaris Gubernare was build by Theo Jansen. Made of wood, autonomous and appearing to have a mind of its own, these are jansen’s creatures that will move where the wind takes them.

21. Kinetic-Ring by Dukno Yoon

A simple kinetic artwork by Dukno Yoon. It is operated by wearing it like a ring and by bending the finger. It mimics how a butterfly or a bird would flap its wings, while at the same time gaining altitude.

22. Mechanical Running Wolf

While this mechanical running wolf by Andrew Chase does not necessarily move on its own volition, the beauty of it is that it can be moved like how an actual wolf can. All joints, head turns, the way it arches its back and movse its tail are perfectly crafted.

23. Study in Bird Motion

This artwork by Joyce Lin is made of popsicle sticks. It mimics a bird’s flapping wings. The entire motion can be activated by turning a crank by hand.

24. Oars

Oars is a kinetic sculpture made by Bob Potts, depicting how seafarers move their ships by oar and human strength. Using intricate metal gears and rods, Potts managed to elegantly capture the movement of the oars.

25. Kinetic-Ring 2

Another beautiful kinetic ring by Dukno Yoon, this time it’s a metal frame that shows the flapping wings of bats.

26. Anthony Howe’s Wind Sculpture

Another mesmerizing wind sculpture by Anthony Howe, this one moves as the wind hits it and it produces a hypnotic effect 25 feet high up in the air.

27. Andrew Chase’s Cheetah

Cheetah, by Andrew Chase, mimics the movement of the fastest living thing on land. Built using metal scraps, this kinetic sculpture beautifully illustrates the majestic running pose of this beautiful endangered animal.

28. Mechaneu-v1

A 3D printed kinetic sculpture that can’t be torn apart, mechaneu v1 has many parts that will move in sync by simply moving a single gear.

29. Twist of Fate

A beautiful, enchanting moving art piece by Mike Roid in public display. The kinetic sculpture is continuously moved by the wind.

30. Denizen of the Deep

Another beautiful kinetic sculpture by Bob Potts called “Denizen of the Deep”. It is a perfect tabletop accessory for grand offices and luxurious living rooms.