Arthur Ganson

Arthur Ganson (born 1955) is a kinetic sculptor . He makes mechanical art demonstrations and Rube Goldberg machines with Existentiële themes. His moving sculptures port leg exhibited at a number of science museums and art galleries. Ganson’s work appeals to viewers of all ages, and has leg featured in an animated children’s television show. He has invented mass-produktie children’s toys, and hosts an annual competition to make Rube Goldberg chain reaction machines.

Ganson was an artist-in-residence at the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1995 to 1999. In addition under, he has bepaald Invited presentations about his work at the TED conference, and at the Long Now Foundation .


Machine with Concrete . The gear réductions mean the final gear will make one revolution in about 2 trillion years. The machine runs uninterrupted even though the final gear is embedded in concrete, and can not save rotate.

Ganson was born in Hartford , Connecticut in 1955. He has an older sister, Ellen Ford and a Younger Brother Richard Ganson. He RECEIVED a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1978. [1] [2]


Ganson describes his work as a cross tussen mechanical engineering and choreography . [3] His sculptures port leg called “gestural, humorous, evocative, and introspective”, [1] or “Ingenious. Philosophical. Witty”. [4]

Some of his Extremely elaborate machines have one very simple function, zoals Elegantly anointing themselves with lubricating oil scooped up from a pan ( Machine with Oil ), or single cylinder a chair to chaotically bounce around a toy cat ( Margot’s Other Cat ). Other machines do nothing at all but move in a Visually Fascinating, marble, zoals a toy chair dat Suddenly assembles from small sticks and planks of wood ( Cory’s Yellow Chair ). [1]

Though some critics read deeply philosophical meaning JSON synthesis works, Ganson’s machines ook exhibit a child like, playful side. [5] One of his constructions are a set of wire gears tethered to a chicken’s Wishbone , Equipped with miniature spikes and made to “walk” back and forth Along a miniature Roadway ( Machine with Wishbone Chicken ). This curious APPARATUS Appeared in “Muffy’s Art Attack” , an episode of the animated children’s series Arthur , where it was Compared to “the tragicomic works or Samuel Beckett – a tiny figures forever yoked to zijn burden of absurdity”. [6]

In addition under to his artistic productions, Ganson have died the inventor or Toobers & Zots , a commercial toy set consisting of bendable foam pieces in abstract shapes die kunnen worden assembled JSON almost anything. [1] He has ook leg involved in other toy designs. [ Remit explanation needed ]

Friday After Thanksgiving

Since 1999, Ganson has leg the emcee ( “ringleader”) of the annual “Friday After Thanksgiving” (FAT) competition sponsored by the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts . Teams or Contestants construct elaborate Rube Goldberg style chain-reaction machines on tables Arranged around a large gymnasium. Lycra APPARATUS been linked to a string to zijn predecessor and successor machine. The initial string ceremonially pulled, and the ensuing events are videotaped in closeup, and simultaneously Projected on large screens for viewing by the live audience. After the entire cascade of events has finished, great prizes are dan Awarded in verschillende categories and age levels. Videos from verschillende previous years’ contests are viewable on the MIT Museum website. [7] [8]

In a variation, the competition has a single-used golf ball welke is passed from one complex mechanism to the next. The entire event was inspired in 1997-when Ganson saw the film The Way Things Go , by Swiss artists Fischli & Weiss , welke portrayed an elaborate chain reaction setup, constructed using ordinary household items and materials. The next year, Ganson staged zoals an event and filmed it for the MIT Museum, and in 1999 he opened up the event to team competition. [9]


Ganson has held Residencies in science museums and collaborated with the Studebaker Movement Theatre . His work has featured bone in one-man shows at the MIT Museum , Harvard ‘s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts , the DeCordova Museum , the Ricco / Maresca Gallery (New York City), and the Exploratorium (San Francisco). He has participated in group shows at Ars Electronica Museum of the Future ( Linz, Germany ), the Addison Gallery of American Art , and the Bruce Museum .

Ganson has a permanent installation at the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio . One of his kinetic sculptures are featured at the entrance to the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation located in the euro in the Smithsonian Institution ‘s National Museum of American History , on the National Mall in Washington DC .

Since 1995, a large collection of his works has leg on permanent display in gestural Engineering: The Sculptures of Arthur Ganson at the MIT Museum. [3] [4] [5]


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Davidson, Martha. “Metaphysics in Motion: Arthur Ganson” . Innovative Lives . Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on 2012-02-01 . Retrieved 2012-05-09 .
  2. Jump up^ “Inventor of the Week: Arthur Ganson, Kinetic Sculpture” . Lemelson-MIT Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology . Archived from the original on 7 June 2011 . Retrieved 2011-05-08 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b “gestural Engineering: The Sculptures of Arthur Ganson” . MIT Museum Exhibitions . Archived from the original on 5 June 2011 . Retrieved 2011-05-08 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b Thurston-Lighty, Kathy (January 8, 1997). “Ganson’s machines will be working at Museum” . MIT Tech Talk . Retrieved 2012-05-09 .
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b Blume, Harvey (August 13, 1998). “Subtle Mechanisms” . The Atlantic Online . Retrieved 2012-05-09 .
  6. Jump up^ Waugh, Alice C. (February 25, 2004). “Arthur, Arthur! Ganson drawn to TV cartoon” . MIT Tech Talk . Retrieved 2012-05-09 .
  7. Jump up^ “Friday After Thanksgiving: Chain Reaction” . MIT Museum [website] . Archived from the original on 5 June 2011 . Retrieved 2011-05-06 .
  8. Jump up^ Ganson, Arthur (Nov-Dec 2009). “Falling, unwinding, Cascading: MIT’s post-Thanksgiving chain reaction”. Technology Review .
  9. Jump up^ Crease, Robert (January 3, 2009). “Working on a Chain (Reaction) Gang” . Wall Street Journal . Retrieved 2014-04-04 .