Superficie magnetica n. 6

Posted in Artworks

The Superficie magnetica n. 6 is a kinetic interactive work triggered off manually. It is a horizontal black surface measuring 90 by 90 cm, partially covered with iron powder.

Users act on an external handle that triggers the rotation of a cord wrapped around a pair of parallel rolls. Another handle moves a second pair of rolls, set perpendicularly to the first one. The two cords are connected to a mobile cart holding a magnet, which acts on the iron powder over the surface. By rotating the two handles the user moves the magnet along to lines composed by perpendicular motion.

Magnetism allows for action and motion of metallic elements without direct contact, which in turn would limit the possibility of variation of the image and of random occurrences. The variation of the image is determined through following interventions of the user, thus it can not be foreseen in the limited space of the artwork and it can not be reverted to an initial position in the span of time of its performance. 

Artist: Davide Boriani
Title: Superficie magnetica n. 6 (“Magnetic surface no. 6”)
Date: November 1959
Collection/owner: The artwork was dismantled after Miriorama 7
Exhibition: Miriorama 2, Miriorama 7
Medium: Varnished wood, iron powder, permanent magnet.
Trivia: Among the members of Gruppo T, these naïve technical apparatuses were defined “Donald Duck’s mechanics”.

D. Boriani, Superficie magnetica, 1959-64, preserved at Boriani Archive in Curitiba, exhibited at Museo del Novecento, Milan