All of Ganson’s machines begin with rough to detailed sketches. Click on drawing for larger view.

ARTHUR GANSON IS AN ARTIST WHO MAKES COMPLEX, KINETIC MACHINES with an existentialist approach. Unlike the whimsey machines of Rube Goldberg, Ganson’s machines take on more than just movement. With Ganson, you can get the feeling that you are witnessing subtle messages on the failed and fragile human condition—isolation, hopelessness, manipulation and the sometimes mundane repetition of life.

I selected this particular machine to show you because, as Ganson writes, it was made from a discarded baby doll that Ganson picked up along a road. I like it because of the subtle movement. Viewed from above, the baby doll (representative of man), is laid bare on an altar-like pedestal of stiff wires, it’s creepy movement slowly controlled by unseen forces. It’s a Frankenstein-like effect, a sacrificial offering.

There are many examples of Ganson’s work online, and I’ll be bringing you more from time to time. Enjoy this video, photos of other machines and some of his drawings for now.

Oh, btw, Ganson (b. 1955) is the inventor of the toy Toobers and Zots, has exhibited his work internationally and was a conference speaker at TED in Monterrey, CA.