Perpetual Motion Museum

James d'Ambrosio


( Concept )

In the Perpetual Motion Museum, museum visitors are faced with the choice of paying for their visit with money or by generating power. By paying with power, they take part in activities that contribute towards the energy demands of the museum via machines connected to the power supply system.

Energy-generating activities could include pulling on a rope, cycling, rowing, or any activity from which motion can be harvested to generate power, adaptable to each person’s individual abilities. The energy collected from these machines is used to hoist heavy weights which will store potential energy once they are lifted. The weights then continuously fall, much like the weight in a pendulum clock, generating a steady supply of electricity through a generator.

This concept is intended to be retrofitted into museums and can be scaled for individual exhibits, exhibitions, and to the entire museum. It can also be adapted for the different types of museums and could become an integral part of the visit, for example, the heavy weight could be an airplane, a sculpture, a garden. The idea of generating electricity while visiting a museum is interactive, encouraging families to visit museums, and broadening people’s understanding of the cost of energy supply.

Project Team
James d'Ambrosio
Project Name
Perpetual Motion Museum
Team Location
Ireland, Dublin
Arts, curatorial & creative practices