This year, a one-of-a-kind artwork dubbed "Kempelen's Owls" is due to enrich the lively cultural landscape in Austin, Texas. Standing three meters tall, the two interactive sculptures depict great horned owls, which are native to the area. Admirers of this installation are in for a true surprise thanks to the built-in lubricant- and maintenance-free slewing rings from igus GmbH, the world's leading specialist for energy chain systems and polymer bearings.
Inspired by the machinery of the 18th-century inventor Wolfgang von Kempelen, this artwork will roost just a few steps away from Austin Public Library and a bustling shopping district. "People will say 'Let's meet at the owls'," anticipates Dan Sternof Beyer, founder and creative director of New American Public Art (NAPA), a multidisciplinary studio that accompanies interactive projects from the conception and design stage all the way through to manufacturing and installation. Each bird is perched atop a dodecahedron, a geometric body with twelve sides. What's particularly special about these owls is a concealed mechanism that allows passers-by to secretly turn the birds' heads. As Sternof Beyer explains: "The mechanism is hidden in plain sight yet readily accessible. It's sure to take a fair few visitors by surprise."
igus GmbH (51147 Cologne, Germany)