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Magnetic Anomaly by Ned Kahn  

Photo credits: Spike Mafford for the pictures of Magnetic Anomaly

Title: Magnetic Anomaly
Artist: Ned Kahn  
Year: 2021
Medium: Aluminum, Steel 
Dimensions: 15-20' x 12’

Description of the artwork

Magnetic Anomaly is a kinetic piece that uses the power of neodymium magnets to create a moving, spiral-like pattern. The movement begins when a single magnetized rib is nudged by a motor. The rib then pushes adjacent ribs into motion whenever their magnets repel against each other. This movement starts at the top of the structure, and travels down until the whole piece is moving in a helix shape. Over time, the helix loses its form and becomes a cluster of seemingly random movement. 

To watch Magnetic Anomaly in motion, follow this link to view Spike Mafford’s timelapse video. 

To learn more about artwork: A Dialogue between Art and Science | Port of Seattle ( 

About the artist

Ned Kahn creates installations that are both art and scientific studies, and for this reason his work finds a home in both science museums and art galleries. Some artists seek out to create alternate worlds with their craft. Kahn, in contrast, is set on magnifying natural occurrences to a scale where they can be more intimately felt by the viewer. In other words, his goal is to showcase nature that exists all around us. This comes in the form of man-made tornados, wind patterns being visualized against buildings, and light being caught in unique ways. Kahn began his career at the Exploratorium in San Fransisco and has since grown to reach international recognition. 

“I am less interested in creating an alternative reality than I am in capturing, through my art, the mysteriousness of the world around us.” - Ned Kahn 

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