"Emery: 'Kinetic art means art in motion'" By Michelle E.
"People strive in their lives to find the most interesting
thing they can do, and kinetic art is it for me." Dale Emery, 32, has been
doing kinetic art since middle school. Whenever he had extra time, he would
go spend it at the school art department. He was always interested in building
models and he also spent time at home doing that.
There are several types of kinetic art, but basically it means art in motion. Dale's first attempt at kinetic art used objects including clock hands and moving eyes attached to a barbecue spit motor.
"I was always fascinated , and I think a lot of people are, by watching machines work," said Dale. He would watch backhoes, hay bailers or even cars at night on the freeway with the lights going up and down the lanes.
"Watching all that mechanical motion was fascinating to me," he said.
Dale said that his coin-operated machine called the Kineticon came from brainstorming one day. He was looking out the window trying to decide what he was going to do with his life.
He said that's when it came to him that he could make a "display case that could be put in public with a coin slot on it to get it running."
After this concept popped into his mind, he spent almost two years building the machine. Scott Emery, his brother, remembers that the whole project was a secret. "All we knew is that Dale had a project down in the basement and that nobody was allowed to see it."
Scott said that after the project was almost done, he and his parents were allowed to see it. "It was fascinating to watch and I remember thinking maybe my brother was a genius," said Scott.
"The Kineticon could be considered an enclosed, very elaborate train set but it's more than that," said Scott. It uses lights, water fountains, moving pieces of sculpture and the quarter that you put in to give you a minute and a half of motion and entertainment.
"The Kineticon has a lot of things that appeal to different people," said Dale. It also has a lot of things happening which means that you see different things each time you watch it. These are some of the reasons why people like the Kineticon," Dale said.
The Kineticon has been placed in Newgate Mall, Five Points Mall, Trolley Square, South Town Center and two malls in Pennsylvania. This, said Dale, is a way of making the art accessible. He wants people to be able to see and appreciate his and other's art work. Presently, the Kineticon sits in front of the Old Spaghetti Factory in Trolley Square.
Dale works for the Center for Engineering Design at the University of Utah. The Center for Engineering Design works with robotics, mechanical and micro devices.
The center has created the best artificial arm in the world and is internationally recognized for its work with robotics control. Since these things fall right in line with what Dale enjoys, this job is also exciting for him.
Dale considers himself a "student of Kinetic Art" saying that there are many artists in the field whose work he admires. Some of those artists include John Vahanian and David Seitzinger.
These two artists had many "retro-futuristic glass and brass flying machines" which hung from the ceiling of the buildings around Erie, Penn., where Dale grew up. He also admires certain works by Duchamp and Gabo. All these artists gave Dale something to work for.
As for his future, Dale hopes to someday be able to spend as much time as he wants doing kinetic art. He has several projects in the works including a kinetic gum delivery machine.
"My personal potential is still great. I think there are a lot of things I can still do," said Dale. He said he would love to get some of his pieces in the lobbies of big buildings and maybe even have his own studio someday.
Access to DBE home, such as it is. Links to coin-op sites, others of interest. This page is a project.