Kinetic Fine Art

In 1998, I wrote my first paper on the kinetic arts in a technical writing class. Before writing this field project paper, I read that former paper. It did not make any sense to me. Apparently, I had memorized and not internalized the research done previously. For this paper, I made a point to use my own words, and that required creating my own terminology. I ended up developing a whole new theory on the history of Kinetic Fine Art.

The background chapter is devoted to the history of Kinetic Fine Art. The objective for writing this history is to simplify the explanation of kinetic art. Kinetic art is often included in a discussion of technology art. This creates a blurring of lines between kinetic art and technology art. Not all kinetic art is technology art, and not all technology art is kinetic art. It is my intention to simplify kinetic art by separating some of the technology art from kinetic art, and by defining the categories of kinetic art. The first thing to do is to elevate the name kinetic art to Kinetic Fine Art. This elevation of terminology signifies that it pertains only to some form of motion: actual, virtual, or spectator. All other forms of motion fall under these three types of motion.

The elevation of terminology also signifies three categories under Kinetic Fine Art. The categories are Machine Aesthetic, Light Aesthetic, and Computer Aesthetic. Once in context, I describe the three types of kinetic painting. Thomas Wilfred the inventor of kinetic painting and Frank Malina the greatest kinetic painter of all time are both discussed. Illustrations are shown of their work and how they were built. Then I go into a complete description of the method I used to develop my type of kinetic painting. In the following chapters, I explain the results of my work, and a discussion of the implications with a conclusion.


The first time I heard of Frank Malina was in 1993. I had applied for a patent, at the end of 1992, for the “Kinetic Visual Display”, which eventually became “Santuario”. I had gambled away all my savings by applying for the patent. The lawyer said that with only one prior cited by the patent examiner, I still had a good chance for the patent. But all my money was spent. So I abandoned the patent. In 1993, I had moved from Maryland to New Mexico. I’m not sure if it was due to the disappointment of not getting the patent, or the new cultural surroundings, but I pulled the patched screens off the “Kinetic Visual Display”, reapplied new patches of screen, and then painted the “Santuario”. Since that time, I’ve been on a quest to upgrade my ability as a kinetic painter. All my work as a kinetic painter stopped until I could learn to use the computer and incorporate it into my work. The transition has taken ten years. This field project has given me a new enthusiasm to create and be a high-tech kinetic painter.