Friday, April 14, 2006
Ball Bearings as an Art Form
I live in Minneapolis, MN which apart from the cold winters is a pretty good place to live. (I think something like 99.5% of the worlds inhabitants live in places with a higher mean temperature than here. Shows how tough we are.) Anyway, Minneapolis' modern art museum, the Walker, recently moved into a new building and I read that attendance figures are flat despite the change.
I do not enjoy most modern art. I do enjoy looking at the metamechanics of Jean Tinguely (for short periods of time) and I think a lot of "kinetic art" is pretty interesting.
Anyway, I see where you can buy an SKF self aligning ball bearing from New York's MOMA here, for about $180. Now, I've always thought ball bearings are pretty cool, even from a purely esthetic viewpoint, MOMA charges $180 for a 4-inch diameter bearing which exemplifies for me the disconnect between the modern art world and the real world. Before I rant too much, maybe this is some special artistic rendition, but the normal cost of a 4-inch bearing, at say, McMaster Carr is probably around $30.