Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.


Watch: A Huge Kinetic Sculpture Balanced Miraculously On A Single Feather

"Balance master" Maedir Eugster builds an incredible hand-held piece one palm frond at a time.

I’ve happened across enough contact juggling videos on YouTube to know that souped-up circus routines are a dime a dozen on the Internet. But Balance, a short film directed by Tobias Hutzler, is the first I’ve been able to watch without laughing.

Balance stars Maedir Eugster, the 58-year-old "balance master" and co-founder/director of Rigolo Swiss Nouveau Cirque, a performance art troupe based in Switzerland.

Eugster, clad only in pantaloons (and maybe some eyeliner for effect?) spends the video building a temporary sculpture, based on a single feather. Using 15 bare palm frond spines, he balances each proceeding object on the tip of the next, until he’s holding a massive kinetic sculpture overhead. Like any good performer, he kicks it up a notch for the finale by balancing the entire form on the tip of an upright frond.

Then, thanks to physics, the whole thing collapses without Eugster’s steady hand. It’s like watching a Calder mobile blow apart in the wind.

[H/t Ignant]

Add New Comment


  • 起重机

    The 15 palm frond spines have elastics on them to prevent slipping. Not quite bare. However I couldn't do this feat.

  • Jon

    I enjoyed the video but your title is rather misleading. The sculpture is not balancing on the feather, the feather is balancing miraculously on top of the sculpture.

  • Atish

    Totally agree. The significance of the feather is that, the tiniest, lightest piece can upset the balance of the larger structure.