Google's home page logo on Friday featured an interactive tribute to American sculptor and innovator,Alexander Calder (1898-1976), who would have celebrated his 113th birthday on July 22.
Calder's cutting-edge work transformed modern art in the twentieth century. As a young man, Calder mastered the wire sculpture, which he describes as thus, according to a statement published by the Calder Foundation:
"I did not consider this medium to be of any signal importance in the world of art; merely a very amusing stunt cleverly executed. [...] Before, [my] wire studies were subjective, portraits, caricatures, stylized representations of beasts and humans. But these recent things have been viewed from a more objective angle and although their present size is diminutive, I feel that there is no limitation to the scale to which they can be enlarged."
As a more mature artist, his understanding of the effects of multiple viewpoints on a single piece of work led him to invent a dynamic kind of hanging sculpture with weighted parts that moved and transformed the piece, depending on the observer's angle of view. These mobiles hang in a variety of galleries across the world, including the National Gallery of Art in the United States.
The logo on Google.com has been replaced with a digital representation of a Calder mobile, whose colorful weights rotate slowly when a Googler clicks and drags on a part of the sculpture.
This Google doodle also has a hands-free feature. CNET notes that the user can tip or tilt an accelerometer-equipped laptop to make the logo spin.
Visit Google.com to play with this logo yourself, or watch the video (below) to see it in action. For more on Calder's life and works, visit the Calder Foundation.