If frieze usually leaves you... well, frozen, then head over to Old Truman Brewery, where you'll find an animated scene indeed: lasers flash, brightly coloured lights and shapes spin and transform, robots sketch precise geometric figures, and all manner of forms — from holograms to sculptures — gyrate, twist and come alive. To a score of pulsating techno music, a 3D virtual space station swirls and emits radiating sound waves in time to the beat in the darkened performance space. Welcome to the Kinetica Art Fair 2014.
In the works on display, Kinetica Art Fair fuses the best of art and science — ranging from kinetic sculptures and hanging mobile works, to interactive holograms, 3D projections and a healthy dose of human-computer interaction. The four-day festival brings together many artists, galleries, design studios and performers from around the world to exhibit interactive, interdisciplinary artworks. It is now in its sixth year, with the theme this time being 'Celestial Mechanics', and the ghost in the machine.
With the multitude of works here, plus live performances and talks, the atmosphere is vibrant — like a mad inventors' workshop or some kind of cosmic psychedelic rave. Some of the many notable works on display include Tim Lewis' iron sketching mechanical donkey, Mari Pritchard's hypnotic pendulum that creates sand mandalas as it oscillates, and Samuel Apley's Circus Kinetica — a large water-wheel-like contraption that looks like it is about to mix cocktails at a steampunk bar.
Jose Manuel Gonzalez Martinez's complexly-folded paper sculptures come alive at the click of a QR code, producing swirling metamorphic geometric designs like a kaleidoscope gone mad. You can also take part in Genetic Moo's 'Microworld', an interactive digital ecosystem crammed with strange creatures, or marvel at Holotronica's vivid 3D projections. Quebec artists' collective Perte de Signal, meanwhile, present their intriguing and thought-provoking works, including the deceptive Vortical Filaments.
As Arthur C. Clarke correctly stated, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". The Kinetica Art Fair, with its fusion of art, performance, science and technology is certainly a magical technological experience — one that is out of this world.
Kinetica Art Fair 2014 continues at the Old Truman Brewery until 19 October. Tickets are £16 online, £20 on the door, with concessions and children under 16 at £15 in advance, £12 on the door.