Thursday, June 5, 2008

re: One man's trash

I went to an art show in an unlikely location last week ... the city dump.

Leave it to San Francisco to make sure that one of their most popular art residencies is at the local Recycling & Disposal center (aka the dump). The number of trash cans and recycle bins almost outnumbered the guests, but at least you didn't feel too bad throwing things away knowing that they didn't have very far to go.

The artist's name was Paul Cesewski, and I was excited because I knew he was a member of local bike rodeo gang Cyclecide. These are the guys that make "pedal powered" carnival rides out of old bikes and whose aesthetic of dress can only be described as "hobo clown."

Sure enough, the whole back patio had been transformed to look a bit like an old circus, with all these amazing bicycle powered kinetic sculptures that you could ride to make things happen. This neat cymbal machine would crash as you pedaled.
See all the spare junk parts? He made a generator out of an old wheelchair motor I think.

These bikes shot water as you pedaled.

This fancy contraption hauled a little metal ball to the top of a mousetrap-the-game-esque railway, and hit a bunch of bells and other noisemakers as the ball made its way down. Juliann is over there making the magic happen with just her legs.

My favorite piece was this joke machine, rigged so that as you pedaled, the bicycle wheel would turn and eventually the spikes attached to it would hit the drums and cymbals, making the classic "da-dump, cha!" joke noise.

Better yet, there was a book of lame riddles and a microphone set up so that you could tell jokes and get the appropriate 'ba dump" sound as you pedaled. But you had to have the comic timing right so that the wheel would turn correctly just as you were telling your joke. This one is mine:

What has 4 wheels and flies?

Bike art at the dump! ba-dump, cha!


jordan said...

Why are you wearing my jacket?

bex said...

i was tired of living in fear that you would know that we both own a yellow leather jacket, so i decided to post evidence on the internet. i think we should be okay, as long as i never wear it to married people parties.

bex said...

(the real question should probably be why I wore a nice leather jacket to the dump)

Chris said...

question further still: Did the dump smell funny? or is that just a nasty stereotype about dumps...?