top bar graphic

Arthur Ganson

Arthur Ganson (b.1955) creates contraptions composed of a range of materials from delicate wire to welded steel and concrete. Most are viewer-activated or driven by electric motors. All are driven by a wry sense of humor or a probing philosophical concept.

“When making a sculpture,” Ganson says, “It’s always a challenge to say enough but not say too much, to coax with some kind of recognizable bait, then leave the viewer to draw his or her own conclusions and thereby find personal meaning.”

Moving objects are playfully linked by intention and subject in A Child and a Ball, which entails an active child mesmerized by a moving ball. In Machine with Wishbone, a real chicken wishbone pulls the very mechanism responsible for its movement. Another sculpture writes the word “Faster” as it is pushed. Other works explore the nature of oiled surfaces, object manipulation, slow explosions, and the organic implications of slow moving roller chain.

Ganson has explored kinetic sculpture for twenty years. His colorful career includes sculpture racing with the World Sculpture Racing Society in the 1980s. He is also the creator of the popular foam construction toy, Toobers and Zots. Ganson has held residencies in science museums, collaborated with the Studebaker Movement Theatre, and been featured in one-man shows at MIT Museum, Harvard’s Carpenter Center, the DeCordova Museum, and the Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York.

Arthur Ganson’s site

Arthur Ganson at MIT

2004 TED Talk Video