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Small Community Creates Massive Famous Pieces of Festival Art

July 30, 2015
Small Community Creates Massive Famous Pieces of Festival Art

As many of you know, we LOVE to see what you all are building and how you incorporate our parts into your design.  A while back, a customer, Patrick Shearn sent us the above photo of his project….and our reaction I’m sure was similar to yours, “Woaha!  This thing is sweet!  We want to learn more!”

Patrick Shearn Headshot

Patrick is the Co-Founder and Lead Creative Designer of Poetic Kinetics – a group of artists focused on large-scale art installations, experiential design and performance production. Based in Los Angeles and born from the film industry, Poetic Kinetics evolved from collaborations between skilled artists in diverse realms seeking new creative expressions. Poetic Kinetics brings an adventurous and enthusiastic spirit, an exploration of technology, and a deep commitment to top-notch production value to each new endeavor.  Their work is beautiful and inspiring!

Poetic Kinetics Group Shot
(Patrick and the Poetic Kinetics team.)

They specialize in large scale kinetic sculpture, but their expertise doesn’t stop there.  They are masters of anything from animatronics, flame effects & fire performance, to solar technology.  Their work continues to be featured around the world like the Burning Man Arts Festival and the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival where these two pieces were featured.  The butterfly and caterpillar are part of one installation called “Papilio Merraculous.”

Giant Caterpillar

This 90 foot Coachella Caterpillar is sure to wow any spectator. The mandibles worked very similarly to the Astronaut fingers (seen in the team photo above) from the year before, so they were easy to re-appropriated mechanically. But for the caterpillar, Patrick and his team designed them with really awesome “fury” pencil rods bits that looked great in the leather-looking stretch fabric they dressed them in, with psychedelic/holographic black fabric in the hinging parts.

The beauty below took approximately three and a half months to create and was inspired by Patrick’s mother. Poetic Kinetics has been creating kinetic creatures for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for five years now. This past winter Patrick asked his mom what they should make which she proceeded to say, “a butterfy!” So Patrick and his team went a step further and designed both a caterpillar and butterfly.

Giant Butterfly
(On the Butterfly they tapped into the hydraulics of the JLG 12K forklift to move the wings and used a ServoCity actuator to unfurl and curl its proboscis.)

We wondered what happened to these amazing installations once the festival/event is over.  They all go into storage usually.  However, sometimes, like in the case of the Astronaut, they find a new home!  The astronaut is now living in the atrium of the Science Museum of Minnesota, since February of this year.

Giant Astronaut

Insides of Astronaut display

Insides of Astronaut display 2

Not sure about you all, but we’re definitely feeling inspired now.  Their advice?   “Just get some parts and start playing around!  We build brand new things every year, some years we adapt processes that we had used in previous years, but for the most part we also just order stuff and start playing with it.”

So, you heard them.  Start tinkering, and happy building!  Oh, and be sure to send us some photos