Kinetic drawings are the closest translation of motion into visual form. The methods of such drawings vary and are a matter of experimentation. A trace can be left by an object, such as the helium balloon tipped with charcoals made by Karina Smigla-Bobinski, or the spinner-like Kinetic Drawing Machine by Debbie Locke. Using mechanical tools, however, creates a certain distance between the person and movement. We have about as much control over these lines as we do over smoke rings: we can cause and influence them, but have little control over their final course. It becomes an interactive game between cause and effect, the person and machine. Heather Hansen on the other hand makes altogether intimate kinetic works by fusing choreography and fine arts. The drawing mechanism here is her whole body. By stretching out on a vast sheet of paper, she is able to use her body as a calliper and a blending tool. The resulting charcoal drawings are reflections of the geometric symmetry of the human body as well as her personal focus and emotion within the movement.
A similar kinetic experiment with paint was conducted by Jackson Pollock over sixty years ago. In his action paintings, also known as gestural abstractionism, his lines of dripping paint caused tracks of fluid motion, forming networks of paths and colours. These often large scale canvases made him use his whole body to stretch and reach across the surfaces, but unlike Heather Hansen, his body would act as an erratic free extension in space rather than a calliper. It that sense, Hansen and Pollock use a similar type of technique, but create entirely different forms of experience.
Line-like tracks can also be found in kinetic photography and film, depicting sequences of figures as they move or change position. A clear example of this can be found in the works by Dennis Hlynsky, American artist and educator, who recorded the flight of birds across the sky in continuous lines of motion. The result is strikingly similar to drawing, both in the fluidity, motion and a sense of wandering within the space, not unlike lines on paper. Thus, the experience of movement in art and nature is in its core essentially the same.