Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
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 featured 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.

metropolis II

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.

metropolis II
metropolis II

Taken at Burden’s studio, this Gagosian 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. 

Next, watch Beam Drop Inhotim, 2008, Brazil.

This award-winning video collection is reader-supported. Become a sustaining member to keep TKSST online and free for everyone, including teachers and parents who use it as a resource to spark learning and curiosity for kids.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

The Slinky machine: A hand-cranked, wooden Slinky escalator

Rion Nakaya

A Kinetic Mind: the kinetic sculptures of Anthony Howe

Rion Nakaya

Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest on the beach in San Francisco

Rion Nakaya

The Engineering of the Drinking Bird

Rion Nakaya

Cars on the Lanes – Translating car patterns into music

Rion Nakaya

Sonia Boyce, Barbara Hepworth, Yayoi Kusama, Georgia O’Keefe, and Dayanita Singh: 5 Women Artists’ Stories

Rion Nakaya

K’nex engineering marvel: Clockwork

Rion Nakaya

Yayoi Kusama’s Obliteration Room – TateShots

Rion Nakaya

Izzy Wheels: Sisters create an artist-designed wheelchair wheel cover business

Rion Nakaya