Let’s get back to more kinetic art from the MB&F M.A.D. Gallery.

For the second part of my visit, I’ll start off with something retro you’re unlikely to have ever seen cruising down the street. Here’s a Panny-farthing bicycle based on traditional late 19th century designs that have become a symbol of the Victorian era. The bicycle is completely hand-crafted by Czech artisan Zdenek Mesicek, and comes with a leather seat and matching seat bag. The gargantuan front wheel was originally conceived to allow for higher speeds and to make rides on cobbled roads much more comfortable



The M.A.D. Gallery walls were lined with the 9 photograph prints from the “”Gutenberg re-engineered” exhibition by Maarten Van Der Ende, a Dutch photographer who has always had a fascination with archaic machinery and tools from the world of printing. You could call this a homage to Johannes Gutenberg, the man who pioneered the printing press.



This is as much a functional piece of home décor as it is kinetic art. Jake Dyson, son of James Dyson (you know, those high-end bag-less vacuum cleaners and hand dryers), has come out with a motorized uplighter, aptly named the Motorlights. This is the world’s first variable angle uplight, controlled by an adjustable cam wheel that can turn the Motorlight from a spotlight to an ambient “mood” light. You can even set it to automatic, where the angle is cycled to give a zen “breathing” effect.


Probably the most bad-ass piece in the M.A.D. Gallery, Chicara Nagata’s “N°5custom bike is one sexy hunk of heavy metal. This 5th unique bike from the Japanese creator is manufactured and hand-assembled from over 500 components by Chicara himself. Each bike he makes requires over 7’000 hours of painstaking labor to complete. This 5th unique bike from the Japanese is a bit of a departure from his previous 4 bikes, with a let loss polished chrome and a more raw appearance thanks to the brass and bronze tones. This minimalist look is inspired by owner-made bobbers from the 50’s and 60’s and packs a Harley-Davidson 1954 KH Motor- Flathead 45°V-Twin – 883 CC that I’m sure sounds a bit like heaven.


Throughout the gallery you’ll also find stainless steel sculptures by Chinese anti-modernist sculptor Xia Hang. Created to allow interaction between the work and the audience, these sculptures can be completely disassembled and assembled, stretching the definition of what a sculpture is.



Here’s something for toddlers, the Saab Roadster ride-on by Playsam. Crafted from plastic, wood and leather with a design based on the very first Saab,Sixten Sason’s prototype 92001. I wish this was my first car!



This was by far my favorite piece at the M.A.D. Gallery. Kinetic sculptor Bob Potts has built a reputation for his minimalist animated sculptures, where only the working parts are used and left in an unembellished, almost industrial finish. The sculpture reproduces the flying motion of a bird, and does so with incredible grace. See it in action in the video at the end of this post.



Here are some of the smallest pieces of kinetic art you’ll see at the M.A.D. Gallery, Hermann Böhm’s “Böhm Stirling” machines. These miniature machines fueled by nothing but hot air; each producing a different motion.



This is the closest art piece to a clock I got to see at the M.A.D. Gallery: the Ikepod by Mark Newson hourglasses, made of a single piece of hand-blown borosilicate glass and filled with steel nano-balls (8 million in the large versions and 1.2 million in the smaller ones), available in a variety of colors and finishes including nickel, copper and gold. The nano-balls create a beautiful sound not unlike have rain as they trickle down to the bottom bulb.




And of course no trip to the M.A.D. gallery would be complete without checking out the MB&F x Reuge Music Machine. It’s amazing what you get when you combine one of the most out-of-the-box thinks in the world of horology with the world’s foremost music box manufacturers. Without getting into the technicalities, the Music Machine (available in a black version as well) has two separate “playlists” on two cylinders; each playing three melodies chosen by May Büsser himself. On the left you have some of the most nostalgic tunes for any true geek, with the theme songs from ‘Star Wars’ as well as the Imperial March (you know, Darth Vader’s song) from  ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and of course the ‘Star Trek’ theme song. On the other cylinder, you have some of the classics Max grew up listening to, like Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’, Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water’ and ’John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.


Speaking of music, here’s the craziest electric guitar I’ve ever seen, the “Rhodium Prodigy Birdfish” by German guitar builder Ulrich Teuffel. Much like a skeleton watch, the Rhodium Prodigy Birdfish is built using only the essential parts. While it may look more like an ornament than an actual playable guitar, the likes of Kirk Hammet of Metallica and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top have proven otherwise. The guitar comes with two sets of interchangeable tone bars in quilted maple and curly Honduran mahogany. It also comes with five different pick-ups. This definitely makes my two Gibson Les Pauls look very, very mundane.


And finally, I present the king of watch winders. The Döttling Gyrowinder allows a free rotation of the watch in all directions, which closer mimics the motions o the wrist. All technical feats aside, the Gyrowinder is simply a marvel to behold. Pieces like MB&F’s Horological Machines deserve such a majestic home.



But before you go, do check out this (amateur) video I made of some of the pieces I’ve covered in both posts in action. Enjoy!


More information at www.mbandf.com/mad-gallery/