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Keep It Moving? Conserving Kinetic Art

Edited by Rachel Rivenc and Reinhard Bek

Kinetic art not only includes movement but often depends on it to produce an intended effect and therefore fully realize its nature as art. It can take a multiplicity of forms and include a wide range of motion, from motorized and electrically driven movement to motion as the result of wind, light, or other sources of energy. Kinetic art emerged throughout the twentieth century and had its major developments in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Professionals responsible for conserving contemporary art are in the midst of rethinking the concept of authenticity and solving the dichotomy often felt between original materials and functionality of the work of art. The contrast is especially acute with kinetic art when a compromise between the two often seems impossible. Also to be considered are issues of technological obsolescence and the fact that an artist’s chosen technology often carries with it strong sociological and historical information and meanings.  

Reflecting Getty's commitment to open content, Keep It Moving?: Conserving Kinetic Art is available online at may be downloaded free of charge in multiple formats. For readers who wish to have a bound reference copy, this paperback edition has been made available for sale. 

Rachel Rivenc is an associate scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute and author of Made in Los Angeles: Materials, Processes, and the Birth of West Coast Minimalism(Getty Publications, 2016). Reinhard Bek is a partner of Bek & Frohnert LLC, a conservation studio specializing in modern and contemporary art.

208 pages
8 1/2 x 11 inches
228 color illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-538-9

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Conservation Institute
Series: Symposium Proceedings