"Old Dog, New Trick "

Kinetic Interactive Money Machine
Henry Loustau's recent creation is the visual arts equivalent of the once familiar juke-box. It is dazzling to look at, but
Interactive kinetic sculpture, "Old Dog New Trick" by Henry Loustau

to get the full effect you have to insert a dollar. The "machine" delivers a delightful cacophony of whirrs, clicks, and pitter-patters as its many belts, wheels, and fans create a flurry of sound and motion. Like its musical counterpart, this device performs for a short period (about a half minute) and then it gradually coasts to a stop. The transition from chaos to silence is downright mesmerizing.

The sculpture is a four foot cube fabricated from common materials that can be found at any hardware store. It is carefully constructed, but has more in common with American Workshop than Beaux Arts. Its many bicycle wheels and bright colors are inviting and amusing. On the other hand, the barbed wire and layers of cages leave one with an ominous sense of alienation and intimidation. Unlike Loustau's other kinetic sculptures from this series, this "machine" was not designed as a contribution box where money that is inserted both activates the "machine" and supports the host institutuion. This puppy is looking out for itself! What you see (and hear) is what you get. Art and commerece are one. If you remember slipping quarters into a juke-box, then this should be vaguely familiar. New dog, old trick.