Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tim Fort - Kinetic Artist

Bio: Tim Fort
I was born in Saint Paul and lived in the local area all my life. I took up space in college and received my Bachelor's in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Minnesota. I then bounced around for a few years before deciding to become a professional artist in my late 30s. Since then, I've been a struggling artist who's slowly achieving fame as the Kinetic King.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My kinetic gadgets go way beyond domino tumbling and Rube Goldberg to encompass techniques never seen before. Recently, I set two Guinness World Records for "Largest Stick Bomb" and had an exhibition in the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC. Right now, I'm busy trying to get my art before a wider public.

What is Kinetic Art?
To the uninitiated, my kinetic gadgets are gnarly chain-reaction devices that collapse and explode in, like, really cool ways; to the discerning aesthete, they're mechanically-iterative, entropy-generating entities designed to confront the observer's pre-conceived notions about Newtonian physics and challenge their paradigms for processing reductivistic-mechanistic Weltanschauungen from a post-modernistic perspective. (Well, not really...)

Much more than mere domino tumbling, my kinetic gadgets use a wide variety of chain-reaction techniques of my own invention and they have Dalíesque names like Experimental Polymodal Slack-Generating Apparatus #9 and Test Detonation of 0.2 Kilostick Boosted-Yield Xyloexplosive Device #1. Not only can my gadgets collapse and explode in many ways, but they can play music tunes and have animation in them.

Kinetic art is a new, open-ended art medium whose potential has barely been tapped. The number of chain-reaction techniques is virtually limitless. You might find these articles on mechanical explosives and kinetic computing to be interesting. Enjoy!

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Here's advice from me: Being a genius is the easy part; being able to make a living as an artist is the hard part.

Tell me about your working space and your creative process?
I have a studio, but any floor or table can be my workspace. My creative process varies greatly; sometimes I can improvise a gadget on the spot, and other times, I'll mull over an idea for a long time before it gels into something definite.

Which Minnesota artists do you enjoy?
Judith Onofrio,
Justin Busch come to mind.

If I were to follow you around on an “art day” in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I'd hang out in Uptown, maybe eat at Kinh Do and window-shop at St. Sabrina's, maybe head over to the MIA, then go home and create something kinetic.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
YouTube, Springboard for the Arts, and Google, of course. Craigslist tends to be a waste of time.

Do you have any exhibits or any interesting things going on in your life or coming up in the near future?
I'm trying to get my kinetic art on network or cable TV at present.

If you were to receive a $2,000 art grant to do anything you want, what would you do?
Anything? Right now, I'd probably just pay the rent :) (LAI note: Be sure to watch the YouTube link below).

Tim Fort (Website) (YouTube)

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