Artist Statement

Even today, over one hundred years after the Wright Brothers first took flight, in a time when commercial flights connect every corner of the world, the idea of reaching out your arms and flying as birds do remains a dream for children and adults alike. Perhaps we have some vestigial instinct, a firing impulse across some long-useless synapses causing our desire for flight. Perhaps it is the thrill of defying the law of gravity which has bound us to earth for millenia. Maybe it is the way this concept of personal flight would connect us effortlessly to the people and places around us. Much in the way that the BeltLine connects Atlanta’s neighborhoods, FLIGHT can connect people, experiences, and ideas.

FLIGHT is interactive. When a participant pedals the stationary bike, the fins overhead move in a waving effect that trickles down the wings. The rotation of the pedals is connected through a set of gears and chains to the two camshafts at the top of the frame. The two camshafts are synchronized via massive wooden gears at both ends. The shafts have rigidly connected lobes that push down on the back end of the fins (which are balanced via ballast), causing a greater movement at the fin tips. The angle of each lobe is offset 20° from the previous lobe, creating a smoothly flowing wave effect. Very low gear ratios means that it will require a modest amount of effort to create slow and graceful movement.


Artist Bio

MATT KANTNER is a structural engineer and designer. He is a 1999 graduate of Schaeffer Elementary in Lancaster, PA. He graduated from The College of William and Mary in 2010 with a degree in physics, then obtained his Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2012. Professionally, Matt has had a major role in the design of building projects including The Living Building at Georgia Tech, the award-winning Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and the Piedmont Hospital Expansion. He collaborated with Nick Kahler on their 2015 and 2016 projects for Art on the Beltline and several other site-specific projects around Atlanta.

MATT BELT is a detail-oriented, diligent, and digitally savvy intern architect with experience ranging from historical renovations to hospitality to high-rise to mixed-use and multi-family structures. He is also an artist and photographer, having shown his work at the Kibbee Gallery and as part of the RAW Artists showcase in downtown Atlanta in February of 2017. His photography credits include many of Nick and Matt’s guerilla sculptures around Atlanta. In 2007 he received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Clemson University with a minor in Business, and in 2012 he obtained his Master of Architecture from Georgia Tech.

OLIVER LOPEZ is a structural engineer practicing with an award-winning design firm in Midtown Atlanta. He earned a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2005 after graduating from the University of Miami with a degree in Civil Engineering in 2004. Despite growing up in the small, sugar farming town of Clewiston, FL, Oliver developed an appreciation for architecture, urban design, and the arts during frequent family trips to Madrid and Maris throughout his youth. When he’s not enjoying one of Atlanta’s great parks during a sports league game, he can be found roaming the city by bike, day or night, taking in Atlanta’s diverse streetscapes.