On Friday, a temporary structure nestled beneath a concrete flyover in Hackney Wick opened its doors to the public.
Part of the Create11 Festival, Folly For a Flyover is the work of Assemble, the gang of amibitious young architects and designers who built the Cineroleum in Clerkenwell last year. Those who filled up at the Cineroleum will feel right at home here: each weekend evening until late July the Folly will hold a series of musical performances and film screenings. If you’ve ever dreamt about watching 2001: A Space Odyssey or The Wizard of Oz on a scrub of disused land beneath a flyover (and who hasn’t?), now’s your chance.
During the day and evening there’s a simple cafe on-site, and there’s also the opportunity to rent out small rowing boats for a quick paddle up and down the algae-infested Lee Navigation Canal. Come dusk, with the thrum of vehicles overhead, it’s the perfect place to watch a film, even if you can never quite shake the feeling that you’re living in a slightly more pleasant version of JG Ballard’s Concrete Island.
I wondered what route a letter posted in my own local post box would take so I posted a GPS tracker to myself. I posted the letter at the nearest working post box which is about 2km from my house. Over the next 24 hours the letter ended going on a 230km round-trip via Athlone before circling back to my house!
Sam Kennedy works within sculpture, installation, drawing and text.
Concerned with the ways in which we attempt to articulate and frame the
space we inhabit, he explores the constructed assertions we project onto
our environment and the way these gestures – however big or small –
define our experience of physical space and allow us to navigate,
understand and order it. Reflecting this, his installations draw on a
visual language influenced by urban artefacts from architectural
elements to road markings and industrial construction.
work is informed by the history of how we interact with space, through
which he questions what possible experiences can be brought about when
these co-ordinates are distorted. In 2010 Sam took part in ‘Bold
Tendancies’ an exhibition in a former London multi-storey car park. The
work produced was a sensitive installation using thermo-plastic road
marking paint, set upright across the wall of the car park. Kennedy
stated: ‘the initial meaning of these lines has become obsolete, along
with their original function in the space’. Kennedy adopted the
materials for a new purpose creating a dialogue that invited the viewer
to reconsider their bodily relationship within the space.
completing a BA in Sculpture at Glasgow School of Art, Kennedy then
worked for two years with a furniture maker before starting up his own
business as a carpenter. He is currently studying furniture and interior
architecture in Stockholm, a course which has brought into focus the
multi-stranded practice he cultivated in Glasgow. The result is a
broadening interest in his original concerns with physical space, and an
exploration of our relationship to architecture or architecture’s
affect on the body, considering the complex balance between function,
material, location and aesthetics.
recent book work entitled ‘FRAGMENTS’ (2010), consists of a series of
written texts and drawn diagrams. The book was inspired by research into
the Atlantic Wall, an extensive system of Nazi coastal fortifications
along the French, Danish and Norwegian Coasts, notably photographed by
Paul Virilio. These hefty bunkers of cast concrete were predominantly
constructed without foundations so if hit by missiles they would shift
within the sand rather than fracture. Fifty years on and these
functional structures are slowly sinking into the sand and now lie on
the beaches like washed up pebbles. The text running through the book is
an insightful narration which offers an account of this as well as
other specific architectural constructions.
Sam’s interest in
material, specifically concrete, manifests throughout the book as the
common thread which ties these considerations together and opens the
narration to take reference from the Ziggurat of Ur, Farnsworth House by
Mies van der Rohe, the Berlin Wall and a huge concrete cylinder by
Albert Speer, the architect of Hitler. Like the bunkers without their
foundations, Kennedy’s work ‘FRAGMENTS’ (2010) suggests a way to
transcend existing perspectives, acknowledging buildings as objects that
can only function within the system of supporting structures, touching
upon the remnants that are left behind from our interactions however
epic or fleeting and the way in which they become embedded in the fabric
of the everyday.
You can buy prints of several of my pieces from the Saatchi online gallery. I’m adding new stuff every day for a while so have a look and make sure to buy something.
Artist Fernando Orellana has created a machine that creates a continuous stream of tiny, identically-shaped Play-Doh cars. The piece is designed to illustrate our obsession with automobiles and will continue to make cars until 429,674 have been made — the total number of vehicles that the Ford Motor Company made in 1947, the year Henry Ford died.
The device comprises of a motor that pushes on a large plastic tube filled with multicoloured Play-Doh. The Play-Doh is then forced through a small car-shaped hole and cut at even intervals. A programmed microcontroller dictates the pressure of the machine and commands the cutting mechanism at the front which chops off each car once it’s complete.
The machine holds up to 25lbs of the raw materials at a time, which yields anywhere between 700 and 800 tiny automobiles. At the machine’s fastest setting, it will go through the entire chamber in around two hours, but the artist tends to slow the production down to around one car every five minutes during exhibitions.
So far, fewer than 11,000 cars have been created over the year or so that it’s been in operation. Orellana told Wired.co.uk: “That is far away from the mark, but you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.”
Once the cars are produced, Orellana arranges them onto flat wooden panels and covers them in epoxy, leaving it to dry before repeating the process several times. These then become wall-hung artworks. So far 6178 cars have been encased and exhibited in this way.
Orellana explains: “I have thought about automating that process, but it’s fun in an odd way. Sort of like lining up your toy cars as a kid. I often pretend that the epoxy compositions are parking lots! Finding the different patterns I design would also be difficult for a robotic arm.”
Orellana has plans to create three new extruders this summer, but this time they will extrude humans, houses and cows rather than cars. These and the original machine will be shown at the Carrie Haddad Gallery in New York.
Fabricate Yourself is a project that documented the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction Conference. Usually we think of documentation in terms of text, photography and video, but given the tangible theme of the conference we decided to engage the community by capturing and fabricating small 3D models of attendees. This enabled us to build a tangible model of the event and fabricate it piece by piece during the conference.
I’m organising a conference, Thingmakers, on 3D printing in May where you can see printing demonstrated and learn all about where it’s going.