Tim Fort is a multi-talented artist from the Minneapolis–Saint Paul region that is best known from TV and the internet as “The Kinetic King” and the guy behind those really awesome “stick bombs”:
I came across his work years ago through YouTube and have been admiring his innovations ever since. In addition to being a writer, maze designer, aerospace engineer (really), and roller coaster designer; his most well-known works involve an old technology called “stick bombs” in which he weaves flat sticks into each other to form kinetic sculptures that actually explode in a glorious display of colorful parts flying everywhere. Seriously, you need to see it to understand how fantastic it really is:
America’s Got Talent & Other TV Shows
He’s been featured on television multiple times, but this is my favorite performance. He says he’s more of an artist than a performer, and that he’d really love to do his work in a proper video studio where he would get multiple takes, and other advantages over live performance.
Stick Bomb Inventor & Innovator
Arguably every stick bomb maker in the world use some form of Tim Cook’s original designs. The stick bomb may have come before Tim, it was he that made it into what we see today. Search “stick bomb” on google, and you’ll find his website, lunatim.com listed at the top of the results.
The Kinetic King holds at least two world records that I could find for building “the largest stick bomb”, the second of which he made for the Science Museum of Minnesota. He continues to compete with teams around the world at museums, science centers, and libraries.
In addition to blowing up stick bombs and possibly secretly designing a rocket to get him off the planet while he still can, Tim spends his time designing mazes for his friends on Facebook and his website. The sheer breadth of his maze work is as impressive as his kinetic bomb work.
Rocket Scientist (Literally)
Timothy Fort holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Minnesota which he says is a “lot less fun than creating stick bomb sculptures.” As someone that has recently gained an immense respect for rocket science after playing Kerbal Space Program, I find this particular fact about him to be quite admirable as an example of his technical abilities.
Remarkable Namer of Things
Having named several software libraries and companies in as clever of a way as I could muster; I appreciate Fort’s ability to name things. No, seriously. Here are some examples that I like:
- Experimental Polymodal Slack-Generating Apparatus #9
- 0.2 Kilostick Boosted-Yield Xyloexplosive Device #1
- His Royal Highness, the Kinetic King, Lunatim Rex the Only; Greatest Creator of Chain-Reaction Gadgets in the Seventeen Known Universes: Supreme Überführer of the 28 Known Metaphysical Realms; King of Kong Island; Emperor of Atlantis, Shangri La, Boxen, and Cloud-Cuckoo Land; Satrap of Crap; Doctor of Orgasmology, cum laude; President of Vice; Viceroy of Tareyton; Under-Sub-Vicar of “Bob”; Defender of the Clown; Prince of Whales; Count of No-Account; Potentate of Potent Potaguaya; Duke of Hurl; and 3rd Runner-Up of the 1997 Bettendorf Armpit-Farting Contest; the First, Esq., Ph.D., Etc.
Tim’s making a move to the Patreon system in which individuals can pledge a certain amount to him every month. That amount can be just $1, or it can be more if you’re able to be more generous. Personally, I think Patreon is a great way for him to organically grow a financial base for his project lifestyle without the pressures of meeting deadlines like on Kickstarter.
Unlocking Potential Energy
The reason I wrote this article was both to showcase an artist that I find endearing, and to highlight the financial plight of artists like him. Much like Tim’s stick bombs, artists contain a great amount of potential energy that can be unlocked by just cutting them a little slack.
The world deserves to find out what Timothy Fort and artists like him can produce with some decent video gear and a bit of leisure time to execute bigger projects. Giving a tiny amount through a system like Patreon each month can collect like raindrops into a pool of funds that result in great content for all of us to enjoy online and in person.