Chris Burden’s Metropolis II opens this week at LACMA. According to Burden, “The noise, the continuous flow of the trains, and the speeding toy cars, produces in the viewer the stress of living in a dynamic, active and bustling 21st Century city.” And also, I would add, the thrill and the wonder…
Here are a few stats on the piece:
- The cars are attached by a small magnet to the conveyor belt that brings them to the crest.
- The only motorization of the cars is the conveyor belt to the top.
- Once the cars cross over the crest and head downward, their entire movement is by gravity.
- They travel at a scale speed of 240 mph, plus or minus.
- The tracks they take are Teflon coated to reduce friction.
- The tracks are beveled at 7 degrees to give added torque for speed when
they come through corners and curves.
- The trains are out of the box electric train sets that run on electricity.
See also: Big Wrench.
Everything that has happened since the time of Augustus Caesar takes up only 6.25% of the time that has passed since the Lion man of the Hohlenstein Stadel was made.
A lion headed figure, first called the lion man (German: Löwenmensch, literally “lion person”), then the lion lady (German: Löwenfrau), is an ivory sculpture that is the oldest known zoomorphic (animal-shaped) sculpture in the world and one of the oldest known sculptures in general. The sculpture has also been interpreted as anthropomorphic, giving human characteristics to an animal, although it may have represented an unfactual presence deity. The figurine was determined to be about 32,000 years old by carbon dating material from the same layer in which the sculpture was found. It is associated with the archaeological Aurignacian culture. (wikipedia)
Brian Dettmer creates these fascinating sculptures by carving into books and revealing the illustrations within. A collection of photographs of Brian’s works can be viewed at Centripetal Notion.
H/T Cynthia P.
A scientist-turned-artist, Jansen’s bizarre beach animals have their roots in a computer program that he designed 17 years ago in which virtual four-legged creatures raced against each other to identify survivors fit enough to reproduce. Determined to translate the evolutionary process off-screen, Jansen went to a local shop and found his own alternative to the biological cell — the humble plastic tube. (Wired: Wild Things Are On The Beach)
See also: Theo Jansen at TED and strandbeest.com.