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Kinetic Bubble Machines by David Medalla

A bubble machine work by David MedallaCloud Canyons No. 25, plexiglass tubing, motor pumps, alloy, water, detergent

David Medalla was a child prodigy, lecturing at the University of the Phillipines at the age of 12, then went to New York to study philosophy and Greek drama at the age of 14. Now based in London, New York and Paris, the artist is known for his kinetic bubble machines among a wide range of different media and materials.


A photo of David Medalla's Sand MachineSand Machine, polished copper and iron, sand, motor, bamboo


Medalla’s works walk the line between engineering and art, serving as functional machines that serve obtuse or useless purposes. In many cases, Medalla drew up the original plans for these works, then had other artists construct them in a collaborative effort. In the well-known work Cloud Canyons, bubbles fill up long tubes jutting upward from a base platform; the bubbles overflow and succumb to gravity, covering the structure and creating a uniquely organic, ever-changing sculpture.


This changeable nature of Medalla’s bubble works is uniquely attractive. When they are viewed in a museum, no two viewers will ever see the exact same form, allowing for an individual, personalized experience.


A neon work by David Medalla featuring Piet Mondrian's faceMondrian watching two sailors dancing the Boogie Woogie on Times Square, New York City, neon

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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