I have been approached by Branislav Jakovljevic at Stanford, to participate in the Performance Studies International Conference (PSi), June 29. Save the date!
Chip Lord and Curtis Schreier of Ant Farm will also be co-presenting Media Burn (the video). As the work of Ant farm has been very influential for my work over the years, this presentation will establish a provocative context for Maria. The presentation will be moderated by Simon Sadler.
As you may recall, I have been collaborating with my heros, Curtis and Chip, since 2008 for the Ant Farm Media Van v.08 [Time Capsule]. The project started off as a commission from SFMOMA, and has taken on a life of its own. Traveling to France, for the Estuarie Bienniel, the deCordova Museum in Massachusetts, ASU Mureum, Tempe, AZ and is currently stored in an undisclosed location while plans for the next digital Time Capsule are being formulated.
I will deploy Maria at Stanford to perform SuperTask #2, a Side Show. Part circus, part East Oakland hyphy- ghost ride. All in slo-mo. 1.7MPH!
This event, will be staged in White Plaza, and be the source of a new video I am calling “Unsupported Transit.” The idea is to create a Time Slice/Bullet Time video from crowd sourced photos and video. This will no doubt be an editing black hole, but is another consistently unsurmountable challenge on par with building a flying car!
The title of the video draws upon Leland Stanford’s commissioning of Eadweard Muybridge to to capture with photography a running horse with all four feet off the ground for an instant.
Is Your Best Entertainment Value.”
I have long found inspiration in Craig Baldwin’s work, Sonic Outlaws and Negativeland.
And with this backdrop, a number of years back, Chip Lord sent me a t-shirt image of MEDIA BURN (ON THE DIGITAL HIGHWAY) done by Big Daddy Roth/Von Franco for BAVC, 1993.
I saw this image the first time on Steve Dye while working at SFMOMA on the Ant Farm Media Van v.08 [Time Capsule], and was smitten.
This, in turn, conjured fond memories of the amazing show of Big Daddy Roth that Randy Hussong curated for New Langton Arts, back in the day…..
Nostalgic even then, for my childhood spent at the Fremont Drag Strip, Oakland Roadster Show and the boat drags near the airport.
Once the composition is resolved, I will scan it and study changing the yellow to be Her sublime Tahiti Blue/rust/black/half-toned self.
3.16.2013 - Saturday was fairly surgical in the realm of Maria. Sawzall four welds, and six blades later… the metal of the welds is much harder than than the tubes it connects! By the end of the day, the conroller base plate was free. Ready for extraction. Sunday, logistics and figuring a way to wiggle all the the various levers through the holes in the fiberglass took some time. Anne Klint came by to document the removal. We are working towards a video document of Phase 3, and will update here regularly with progress. We are planning a fundraiser to complete this in the near future!
This week’s report is short. Nothing dramatic, but important nonetheless. We began fabrication on the new mounting brackets for the controller base plate, and continued drilling and de-burring holes.
Over the past several months, I have been working behind the scenes, preparing for June and beyond. As noted before, I received the grant monies from CCI, and I have been working with hydraulic engineers to determine the proper electromechanical valves. I want to have a dual platform for the controls, so that I can go between manual and electronic. Over time, if the electronic valves prove to be robust, I will abandon the manual controls completely, and Maria will become a true robot or a driverless vehicle.
The range of pricing for these new valves is staggering. I was hoping to use Moog (Bill Moog, not his cousin Robert who invented the legendary music synthesizer) valves, as they are the BEST: aerospace quality. But alas, they turned out to be twice as much as Yuken valves from Japan. So, through this process, working with Royal Systems Group, we have arrived at a solution that, at least, will get us moving in the right direction. I got connected to this supplier/systems engineer through Peter Moy, the “brains” behind the long lost Gnomon, the GPS guided achitectural robot for SFMOMA, back in 1996. Peter has been working on the programmable, user interface and remote operation of Maria.
Last week, I finally placed the order. Now there’s some time to kill….before the they arrive!
Lightening Her up. Still. More.
Thomas and I finshed up some drilling on the underside of the body. This was work left undone since about three years ago! Always moving towards tasks more functionally driven it seems. It feels great to circle back and attend to details!! There are a number of other areas that can use more attention like this.
As you may know, I have been saving all the drill shavings and drill bit from the project. I now have four gallon buckets full of holes! I call them collectively “Rust Bucket.”
The next thing we started on was to modify the controller platform. Once again drilling holes! (but large) The plate has always been adhoc, left over from the original Komatsu, tacked on in the wee hours before we left for Burning Man on Her maiden voyage. The solidity of this has always bothered me, especially when Maria is upright and backlit. It competes with the silohette of the original El Camino “X” frame. We also have started to remove excess material from the perimeter of the plate. All of this is in preparation for the new wireless controller. The mounting of this will become bolted instead of welded, so that the entire assembly can be removed for full effect.