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Kinetic Crane – moving collage from cans

Responsible consumption has been one of the topics present in my works for more than a decade, resulting in plenty of art created from recycled materials. Recently, the portfolio was joined by Kinetic Crane – a moving collage made of used cans. It was first displayed in a church in Vilnius during the Culture nights 2020, and was later moved to the headquarters of the company responsible for managing deposit cans and bottles in Lithuania. When I started working on it, I was asked if it was possible to create something memorable from single use packaging. I answered without a flinch – absolutely YES.

Each time I receive a new – old material for my work, I look for ways to present it in an unexpected way – it is important to me that the final result is unique, aesthetically pleasing, and communicates the message while delighting the viewer’s eye. I chose to cut the cans into triangles for the Kinetic Crane to create a more unusual picture. Carefully matched shapes and colors allowed to make the Kinetic Crane appealing to both our time and the viewer’s eye – drinks’ packaging motives and pleasant shapes make it familiar and pleasant.

Composing moving collage – the Kinetic Crane

The collage also has a unique feature – if approached from the right spot, it moves and comes to life. More apparent outline of the crane and its embossed contour reminds of the main messages that are assigned to the crane – freedom and flight. In general, birds are one of the main topics of my art that has been apparent since the very beginning. The Kinetic Crane is also based on my painting Crane.
Creation of the Kinetic Crane was technically complicated and took me six months. Initially, I needed to carefully select the cans, then cut them into shapes. Because I chose to cut them into triangles, I lost a lot of area of the cans, and thus needed a lot of material to complete the collage. Later I started gluing it, which posed another challenge as, due to the bent shape of the can, they did not stick to a surface well. Finally, the time came to introduce movement – for this, I used specially made motors that, upon detecting movement in a certain spot, move the entire piece of art. It is worth noting that the motors are not the most usual ones, either – we made them using a 3D printer.

The finished result

The final work is more than two meters high, I used more than 1500 cans for it. I am happy that the final result turned out to be unique and charming – the aesthetic side of art has always been highly important to me. At the same time, it is nice to see that art from recycled materials is gaining a momentum – when I began, there were very few instances of them in Lithuania, whereas nowadays it is almost the new norm. I believe it also represents the shift in our mindsets, too – while I am not saying that we have to get rid of everything, I do notice that more and more people choose to consume less and only limit themselves to the things they really need.