Writers on Demand: G. W. Smith

Our Kinetic Sculpture Connection

G. W. Smith, a kinetic sculptor living in New Orleans, thinks the art world is way, way too fragmented.  His greatest fantasy would be to walk into Café Guerbois in Paris to hang out with the Impressionists.  He has been busy trying to create some connections of his own.

His first step was to write his own book, Aesthetic Wilderness: A Brief Personal History of the Meeting Between Art and the Machine, 1844-2005.  ABC is happy to announce we can print this title on our Espresso Book Machines!

He describes the book as “thoroughly opinionated — but I hope in a way that will encourage kinetic sculptors of every school to plug into the dialogue, or even write books themselves” –  which his own little press would be delighted to publish!  ABC would, of course, be happy to print and distribute it here in Europe.

G. W. Smith’s next stop in creating some of his own connections was Columbus, Indiana, USA, home of the Cummins Diesel Corporation. Its legendary chairman, J. Irwin Miller, commissioned some of the world’s greatest architects and artists to beautify the city; and so there — amidst thousands and thousands of square miles of cornfields — is to be found Chaos I, the major installation in the Americas of Swiss-French kinetic sculptor Jean Tinguely.  After being thoroughly impressed by a pilgrimage to Columbus early in his career, Mr. Smith included an account of the trip in his book (the excerpt was also picked up for publication in Columbus newspaper The Republic).

Aesthetic Wilderness is also on sale in the gift shop of the newly-opened Museum of Mechanical Art and Design in Stratford-Upon-Avon.  According to Mr. Smith, “these guys have figured out before anyone else that kinetic art is going to be the next big thing”.  And of course, by way of its impressive cadre of resident artists, here lie still more connections: Bernward Frank, founder of Kineticus, the world’s largest database of kinetic artists; and the Netherlands’ own Jennifer Townley, one of Europe’s up-and-coming young kinetic sculptors.