The Kid Should See This

Metropolis II at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Metropolis II, a kinetic sculpture created by Chris Burden, is currently showing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). 

Steel beams form an eclectic grid interwoven with an elaborate system of 18 roadways, including one 6 lane freeway, and HO scale train tracks… According to Burden, “The noise, the continuous flow of the trains, and the speeding toy cars, produces in the viewer the stress of living in a dynamic, active and bustling 21st Century city.”

LACMA’s blog gives some detail:

  • The cars are attached by a small magnet to the conveyor belt that brings them to the crest.
  • The only motorization of the cars is the conveyor belt to the top.
  • Once the cars cross over the crest and head downward, their entire movement is by gravity.
  • They travel at a scale speed of 240 mph, plus or minus.
  • The tracks they take are Teflon coated to reduce friction.
  • The tracks are beveled at 7 degrees to give added torque for speed when
    they come through corners and curves.
  • The trains are out of the box electric train sets that run on electricity.

Taken at Burden’s studio, this video is a bit shorter and perhaps provides a better understanding of the scale and constant sound that’s produced by the equivalent of 100,000 toy cars per hour circulating through roadways. Metropolis II is currently an ongoing installation at LACMA with showtimes on Fridays and weekends. 

This feature is being tested. Saves will disappear if you clear cookies. Find saved videos here.

🌈 Related videos

The world’s craziest intersection: Meskel Square, Addis Ababa

Rion Nakaya

The 3rd annual World Maker Faire’s Nerdy Derby

Rion Nakaya

A Kinetic Mind: the kinetic sculptures of Anthony Howe

Rion Nakaya

Midday Traffic Time Collapsed and Reorganized by Color

Rion Nakaya

The Magic Roundabout in Swindon, England

Rion Nakaya

Spiral after spiral of HO-scale toy trains

Rion Nakaya

Toy Car Restoration: A No67 Volkswagen 1600 TL and a 1971 Bye-Focal

Rion Nakaya

Janet Echelman’s fiber sculptures billow among city buildings

Rion Nakaya

Computational Design of Mechanical Characters

Rion Nakaya

 
Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.

 

Subscribe