There are various forces acting upon an object at once. Often times sculptors find ways to defy gravity and manipulate forces to create a physically complex three-dimensional work.

Concepts: Gravity, Tension, Friction, Normal Force, Applied Force, Spring Force


  • What forces are acting upon the 3D work?
  • What symbolic meaning does force give to the artwork?
  • How can force be taught using this work?
  • How are forces balancing in order to keep the structure from collapsing?

Sample Activities:

  •  Force is defined as a push or a pull. Play a game of iSpy with the students going to various galleries. The docent will call out an "iSpy" to the group and the students will work to find the artwork that corresponds. The iSpy quotes will be a description of how the force plays a role in the work. Intended Audience: Elementary/Middle School
  • Students will receive a handout with pictures of the Mark Di Suvero work from straight on. Working in groups, the students will discuss and draw on the pictures how forces are acting upon the object. Each picture will add or shift how forces are being acted up. Students could go up in front of the whole group and demonstrate these additional forces or shifts (ex. one students comes up and sits on the swing; one student actually swings; one students tries to push the sculpture). After each scenario the entire group discusses what they think. This may require the help of the science teacher. Intended Audience: High School


Physics Classroom - The Meaning of Force

Ten Different Types of Force


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August 14, 2018 4:21 p.m.


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