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KINETIC SCULPTURE
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a senior artist I know today one must Cross Your T's, and Dot Your I's in this industry. In the 70s-80s one would sell their art sculptures, larger ones installed on site and that was it. Today we have to consider Liability Artist Insurance, post sale incidents one didn't think of. Say you install an outdoor kinetic sculpture and a severe storm arises and causes havoc on your sculpture causing it to swirl and come apart and possibly injure someone nearby at the time it came apart. It is something we thought of when designing and in my case I would have 'tested conditions close to this high velocity wind' (document, video test results for proof and for client presentation) but some don't and pay the consequences in a court battle.

I'm needing advice on how metal, kinetic artists "protect themselves post sale" when "things happen" and the buyer/client comes back to you (at worst, in court).
I have insurance for visitors to my studio, showing area and building but this, "Sold Art, Installed on Site" with unique situations involving Structural Failure (out of my control) and/or bodily injury/liability because someone got hurt - what insurance or protection documents (contract statement at sale and installation of art piece) should one have in place?

With everyone suing each other at a blink of an eye these days (taking all the fun out of creating art sculptures that move in a room or outdoors), one must protect themselves at all turns.
 

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How big are your sculptures ?? I've seen some that are 100 feet tall and simple ones that are only 5 feet tall.

you need to check with your local city officials as to "what kind" of insurnace you need to cover.
I was a professional sign builder for 40 years and was never required to have insurance for "post installation catastrophes" until the last 10 years or so - due to the city being hit with severe hurricane induced weather. By the Grace of God, I was never held accountable for any of the projects that I installed that did damage to buildings, automobiles or people. That is when we (the sign makers) had to have "Engineered Drawings" prepared by a licensed architect and then approved by the city zoning & building inspection officer. That is when I stopped doing installations larger than a street stop sign and let the buyer arrange their own installations which relieved me of the liability issues. That separated me as being a "sign builder" from the "sign installers".
Depending on your community and the project, you could have miles of red tape - or just a minimum sign-off by an inspector. As a note; when someone approaches you to build a sculpture, that is where you put your foot down and investigate all the ramifications about permits, installation, liability, etc.
City Hall would be my first stop because in my mind, a sculpture would fall into the same category as any "structure" installed by a private company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
John, thank you for your experience with your background and my question. Great advice and yes, City Hall is a planned stop for me. Sadly, I live on the Missouri/Kansas border. One library sculpture project in both, two different Head Hitting Against The Wall meeting sessions.
It's just NOT fun nor as easy as it was, "In The Day" (as old people - me say). Thanks again.
 

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I lived on the Georgia/Florida line and did business in both states frequently. Sometimes it was a nightmare jumping through the hoops of the different municipalities with different rules and requirements.
Thus came my decision of not actually installing or offering installation advice or instructions on the "larger" structures.. (and my business still survived).
good luck in all your adventures
 
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