Automata artist Keith Newstead’s Curious Contraptions

The Kid Should See This

The Exploratorium’s Curious Contraptions exhibits showcase some truly delightful pieces of automata, mechanical devices that move in patterns and often create a scene or narrative moment. In this video, automata artist Keith Newstead talks about the art form while we’re introduced to his creations.

“It’s nice, the engineering and the artistic bit coming together… I think that’s the nice thing: It’s a different art form and at the end, you turn the handle and it moves, which is the big payoff.”

automata dragon
automata dragon head
Keith Newstead in the studio
automata horse

Take a closer look at the details of his majestic dieselpunk pegasus:

This year’s Curious Contraptions exhibit at the Exploratorium in San Francisco runs from November 21–January 26, 2020.

Plus: More curious contraptions and more automata videos, including Rowland Emett’s Marvelous Dream Machines, this hand-cranked kangaroo automaton, The Writer, automata by Pierre Jaquet-Droz.

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Rion Nakaya