Romantic machine builder
When in his teens, Paul van Twist (1960) wavers between becoming an artist or an engineer. The idealist in him (‘I want to make a better world’) and the realist (‘I want to do the things I am good at’) fight a battle. The realist wins. Technology attracts him so much that he decides for an engineering career. He enrolls at the HTS (Higher Technical School) in Arnhem and completes the study electrical engineering in 1984. He follows a successful career as electronic developer and later manager in a big electronic company in the south of the country. The work is interesting and challenging but after a number of years the straitjacket of a big organization makes him increasingly unhappy. In 2005 he makes a bold move: he quits his job, founds his own company Moving Machines and becomes an independent artist.
Windows to the world
Paul van Twist’s combination of talents was a direct cause for the dilemma he faced in his youth. On one hand he has a natural aptitude for technology, in which he perfected his skills through school and career. But, in addition, he has the freedom of mind of the artist. He is a subtle observer and has great associative and conceptual power. His most important source of inspiration is nature and he is fascinated by motion. How do our senses perceive motion? What emotions does it evoke? How does it excite our fantasy? Sunlight sparkling in the waves. Objects reflected and distorted in a water stream. Soap bubbles taking “female” forms when landing on a surface. Paul van Twist invents his machines after personal experiences. He tries to catch motion and let the public undergo the same experience. The machines are strictly personal, romantic windows to the world around us.
Technology follows idea
The idea for a machine is always leading, technology follows. The artist is not afraid to use new technologies if they are necessary to shape his ideas. Every machine is built by hand and passes an extensive development process including several prototypes and tests before it performs exactly as the artist had in mind. Great attention is paid to user friendliness, as all machines can be operated freely by the public.
Paul van Twist’s moving machines attract a broad public, as one can observe at expositions. Children are fascinated by the visual and acoustic effects. Visitors smile when they recognize and understand the idea behind the machine. And some people are eager to know “how things work”. People of all ages take their time to make a hilarious and surprising Moving Machines discovery trip.