Kinetica Art Fair opens with carnivalesque energy, spurning the sedate white cube for lights, colour, action
The atmosphere of Kinetica Art Fair is far more comparable to Glastonbury’s Stone Circle than anything you could find at Frieze. At Last night’s opening event, Ambika P3 quite literally buzzed with energy and noise, teeming with Heath Robinson-esque contraptions, spinning coloured lights, robotic machinery, and remarkably friendly people. Gone is the sparse, frigid gentility of your typical art fair. In comes the trappings of a carnival, with something to see every which way you look.
There is, for example, the freakily life-like robot-bird that trundles around on one wheel, grabbing foam objects in its beak and transporting them elsewhere with mysterious precision; the art student diligently constructing a monumental marble run through his booth, using anything and everything for the race track – from the tunnelled edges of VHS boxes, to sheets of paper, and toy soldiers – while proudly showing visitors mini-films of completed works in action, including (of all things) a biscuit dunking machine; the architectural models brought along by the AA, wired up to thud and thump like intricate subwoofers; a drawing machine, with visitors invited to sit for a portrait while a robotic arm sketches out an uncannily subtle likeness from camera-received images; and if that’s too old school for you (literally, with the paper pinned to an old school desk), why not check out the 21st century version in the form of an X-Box 360 drawing machine, with the ‘player’ able to manipulate spinning dials that spit out ‘particles’, each exploding outwards in a trail of colour – ‘mind if I interrupt your particles?’, asks the artist, looming in from behind, and barking down a microphone so as to make them jump and judder.
Ok, so perhaps not everything here can really lay claim to the status of ‘art’ (thinking in particular of the more fair-groundy elements); but only the sourest of sour pusses could baulk at so much fun.
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