From and exhibition a couple of summers ago at MOCA Los Angeles. I have to admit I am not too excited by graffiti. It usually appears so conformist, quite strange for a medium that is depressingly obsessed with authorship. There is a book of photographs by Jean Baudrillard (which I do not own, so the quotation is not exact) where he discusses graffiti artists as people who want to be heard but have nothing to say. I am also afraid I cannot remember the attribution for this piece, a set of exquisitely painted model railway cars (I imagine somewhere between 1:30 to 1:50 scale) that seems to touch on many of the difficulties of graffiti work.
Sub-titled Instruments, Devices and Architectural Inventions, Editor Geoff Manaugh (BLDG BLOG) has assembled a book related to the exhibition he put on at the Navada Museum of Art that includes work by Smout Allen, David Gissen, Chris Woebken and Kenichi Okada, Liam Young and Lateral Office. It includes images of a couple of my projects. For more information, see here.
People do this for pleasure. It is probably between -20 and -30c. We are on a frozen lake (Lake Manitoba) at Gimli. Hobby fishermen drill a hole in the ice (around three to four feet thick), usually with a petrol driven auger made for the purpose and sit in the cold with a toy-like (very) short fishing rod over the hole, which they have dragged their hut over. The hard core fishermen have a generator going outside to power a television (to watch ice hockey, of course) and a fridge which has the dual function of stopping the beer from freezing and providing some heat for the hut with its heat exchanger. As they fish the hole slowly freezes shut again. Outside, meanwhile, the ice makes pleasing cracking and moaning sounds.
Between 1912 and 1965 this zoo occupied what is now a picnic area in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. The scenographic enclosures are now available for anyone to enter. They are arranged along the lower edge of a small escarpment, to be viewed from below. They are serviced from above, with a series of protected tunnels allowing the keepers to feed the animals. I will post some pictures of these and some of the other infrastructure (that was hidden above the enclosure) in my next post. The Zoo moved to a larger site in the park.
A few more images of Bombardiers from a different visit to the one I showed before. The improbable manually operated submarine to carry a line under the ice (that I mentioned a couple of posts back) is seen being demonstrated in the last but two and last but one images. The fisherman is showing how the thing would walk under the ice when a couple of ropes are pulled. You can see the wood burning stove and chimney in the interior shot.
Perry Kulper and I have been working on Pamphlet Architecture No.34 which includes a bunch of new work. We are caught between wanting to show the work and needing to keep our powder dry until it comes out, so here is another view that gives almost nothing away… Perry’s drawing is on the left and mine on the right. The orange cups are the paint catapults and you can see a couple of domes with model scenes in them, related to the content of the drawings. Our drawings are each on two plates that can fold relative to each other – see the four bar mechanisms holding the drawings. The weighted string between the instruments registers their relative angles to each other on the protractors at each end of the string.
These half tracked vehicles are used over the winter by fishermen (these ones are owned by a bunch of really nice guys of Icelandic descent) and are run out of Gimli, Manitoba. They fish on Lake Manitoba when it freezes over. They drill a hole with an auger driven by a belt that takes power from the main engine drive shaft (although they have been rigging up independent generator engines more recently) and then run a little submarine under the ice with a cable, drill another hole and pull the submarine and cable out and pull nets under the ice (which is three to four feet thick). The nets need to be extracted before the ice freezes again. The modern electric submarines look like they are blow moulded plastic and float just under the ice. They give out a homing signal so you can find them, but previously they used a plank with an improbably assembly of steel pieces that would walk under the ice when teased along with two ropes. The walking action would also make a tapping noise so they would know how far the plank had travelled. It is a tough existence. The green machine went through the ice leaving one of the guys in a coma for several months. They have since put a hatch in the roof to make escape easier.
The vehicles have wood burning stoves inside to keep them warm.
If you want to learn more and have a strange and wonderful read, have a look at Rob Kovitz’ Ice Fishing in Gimli: