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Cybernetic Art Pioneer Nicolas Schöffer’s Lifetime Of Kinetic Scultpures

The French artist’s work gave way to some of the incredible kinetic, technological art we marvel at today.
October 1, 2012, 6:11pm

Back in the 50s, Hungarian-born French artist Nicolas Schöffer revolutionized the artistic space by creating some of the first kinetic sculptures, which in part gave rise to the dynamic world of technological art that we obsess over regularly. His works were recently displayed at São Paulo's MIS (The Museum of Image and Sound) for a special show celebrating his 100th birthday. Below are some of the highlights of his career showcased at this exhibition.

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In 1956, he created the dancing robot CYSP 1, the first autonomous cybernetic sculpture, which ultimately established him as the “father of interactivity.” Check it out below:

CYSP 1 (1956)

In 1961, he connected photoelectric sensors to an "electronic brain" in his massive Tour Spatiodynamique Cybernétique sculpture.

Replica of Schöffer's Studio

Variations Luminodynamiques (1961)

"His work has always resorted to state-of-the-art technologies," says his wife, Eléonore Schöffer. Perfect examples are 1961’s Variations Luminodynamiques and 1960’s Chronos 5. In these sculptures in motion, the idea was to bring together elements of space and light, such as mirrors, and spin them at certain speeds, generating endless visual effects. Watch it below: