Elements as Art
March 6, 2005 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Ned Kahn does really great things with fire, fog, sand, water and wind. Sadly, some don't last. Heard on WNYC's Studio 360
posted by geekyguy (13 comments total)
Those are some of the coolest things I've seen in a long time. I bet he really loves his job.

posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:11 PM on March 6, 2005

[This is good]

Thank you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:24 PM on March 6, 2005

To the bookmarks! Thanks gg.
posted by mlis at 6:35 PM on March 6, 2005

OMG. I wish I were him.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:54 PM on March 6, 2005

If you like nature-based art that's responsive to changing environmental conditions, check out Andy Goldsworthy's scuplture/photography. He does major commissioned projects as well as small-scale works that sometimes last only a few minutes. There's a film, "Rivers and Tides," (description, oddly enough, on a socialist website) that shows him in action. I spent the whole movie wishing I were him, fff.
posted by hippugeek at 9:11 PM on March 6, 2005

Pardon! I didn't even express my gratitude for your links, geekyguy. I'd love to see some of the dynamic water ones in action, especially.

And a more offical site for "Rivers and Tides."
posted by hippugeek at 9:47 PM on March 6, 2005

Nice stuff. I love this kind of thoughtful installation art.

Some of it is less than effective, though. I walk by this at least a couple of times a week, and I hadn't ever noticed it as anything except a big metal structure. (We have several of these large, random hunks of metal on the U of O campus. Eugene is famous for some bad public art.
posted by medialyte at 1:45 AM on March 7, 2005

This is exactly the sort of link that made MetaFilter stand out when I first tripped over it, and the sort of link which has been sadly absent for months.

Thank you geekguy, fabulous, beautiful stuff. It's going to influence my US itinerary substantially next time I'm over.

If Kahn could only find a way of making some of these installations as energy-friendly as the destroyed Wavespout and others, he might only be a few moments of contemplation away from Zen Grandmaster.
posted by NinjaPirate at 3:06 AM on March 7, 2005

I'm glad you all appreciated as much as I. I think the fire vortex is the coolest and if you are down with RealAudio listening to him describe the creation and his great fear once it was realized is great. Catch it here.

medialyte - I grew up in Eugene, c. 1975-1988. Perhaps that is why I appreciate it so.
posted by geekyguy at 5:37 AM on March 7, 2005

[this is good]

I really enjoyed his fog rings when I went to the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

Though it lists his tornado machine as being in New York, there's another just like it at the Fort Worth Mueum of Science and History, right outside the Omni theater. It's really a fun toy to play with -- you can disrupt the fog, and within seconds it's back in a column.
posted by kaseijin at 7:36 AM on March 7, 2005

I am so tempted to build a fire vortex in my back yard. Unfortunately, my town doesn't have the correct permits to allow such. Heathen!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:01 AM on March 7, 2005

Oh, and that globe with the mica-filled liquid: the Vancouver Space Science Centre had a similar sort of thing, as a rotating thick disc. A buddy and I spent at least forty-five minutes playing with it. And, no, we weren't on any sort of drugs. It was just that fascinating.

It would be relatively easy to build one. I wonder where I'd find a few kilos of fine-grained mica...
posted by five fresh fish at 8:03 AM on March 7, 2005

Yep, there's one of those globes at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, too. Right next to a fog vortex, presumably also by him.

(Torontonians, it's in the.. dammit!!! I forget which hall. Bottom level, I think... somewhere on the right hand side as you step off the escalators. Or downscalators, as I call them.)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:14 AM on March 7, 2005

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