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In conjunction with our Curious Contraptions exhibition, this whimsical collection of expressive, short films celebrates frivolity and ingenuity using the kinetic properties of the moving image. Each film constructs its own world of wonder through clever contraptions and surprising motion. From epic journeys on a micro-scale to mechanized performances, these movies are geared to drive your imagination!
Solar Do-Nothing Machine by Charles and Ray Eames (1957/1995, 2 min.)
Designed in 1957 and true to the filmmakers’ belief that toys are not as innocent as they seem, this machine was one of the first to use solar power to produce electricity.
Dot by Sumo Science ( 2010, 2 min.)
At less than an inch in height, the titular character traverses a landscape of pocket-sized objects and full-sized surprises in this stop-motion animation.
Power by Dana Sink (2016, 2 min.)
A series of animated systems crank, spurt, spring, and spin into action, with no apparent purpose. Only time will reveal the power of the machine’s mechanical motions.
Pythagorean Devices (2001–present, 1 min.)
This compilation of five chain-reaction machines produced for a Japanese children’s television show is an innovative, rapid-fire dose of Rube Goldberg entertainment.
Machine with Wishbone by Randall Okita (2008, 7 min.)
Using the inventive machines created by Arthur Ganson, filmmaker Randall Okita leads us through a wondrous journey filled with curious creatures.
The Deep by PES (2010, 2 min.)
Explore an underwater world where fish are made of washers and wrenches instead of flesh and fins.