Animated sculpture

I still remember the first time I was taken to a great museum when I was a child. I loved everything, but the realist sculptures in particular really spoke to me.

As I got older, I realized that this was because a great realist sculpture is like a well chosen single frame in a fantastical movie. You can see, just from that one moment, a great story on display. Sometimes the story is comic, and sometimes tragic, but always character is revealed.

This has gotten me thinking, now that VR makes more things possible, what would it be like to have sculpture be animated? I don’t mean acting out an entire narrative, but rather having the sculpture be able to move and breathe, and perhaps even respond to you.

Visiting a museum while wearing those forthcoming wearables, we might be able to see a different kind of sculpture. Form would still suggest movement, but in addition, movement would suggest form.

Rather than being a single frame of a fantastical movie, it would be several frames of that movie, forming an animated presence. I’m not even sure whether such a thing would continue to count as sculpture.

But I think it would be interesting to try.

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