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Reuben Margolin: Kinetic Artist


This installation in the atrium of a Hilton hotel uses aluminum rods and bicycle reflectors to create a spectacular light effect.

Reuben Margolin is a kinetic installation artist based in California, who is known for his awesome and mystifying moving sculptures.  Using simple mechanics, geometries, and equations, and working with very plain, often recycled materials, he creates intricate systems to replicate fluid motion and produce dazzling effects.

Reuben is often inspired by nature for his work.  Whether it is the movement of a caterpillar, the intersection of ripples in water, or the natural physics of wind, Margolin analyzes nature and discovers the underlying forms and patterns that he then uses in his own work.  He simplifies the physics and geometry to create a fluid form, but does it on such a scale that it still appears very organic.  He uses simple mechanics like pulleys, cams, and gears to produce his movements, similar to the work of Da Vinci and other early inventors.

vvv  Check out this video, it blows my mind  vvv

Reuben Kinetic Sculptures

Reuben does most of his work himself and completely by hand.  He even drafts out the mechanisms, geometry, and trigonometry by hand, defying the common belief that complex parametric forms can only be created through digital modeling and fabrication.  His materials range from stair balusters and bicycle reflectors to cardboard tubing and duct tape, most of which he sources himself.  I think his work is exemplifying of simple mechanisms reflecting more complex natural forms, and could be a potential model for architectural techniques.

If you’re interested, check out his website here: