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My recent awesome "arts and crafts" project (I wish)

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My recent awesome "arts and crafts" project (I wish)
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
2008-07-27, 18:10

Today I visited the Palais de Tokyo, a contemporary art museum in Paris. One of the interesting things I saw was something that Brad might have made if he wasn't so busy running AppleNova: a compressed-gas gun that projects beer bottles at tremendous speed against a wall, smashing them to smithereens in the process. Here's a few snaps of the installation:

That's the remains of hundreds or thousands of beer bottles (and their caps) on the floor.

The entire installation is automatic. It loads a bottle (with an ominous "clink"), charges the small cylinder on the gun from the main tanks (during which you can hear the ringing sound of high-pressure gas moving into the metal cylinder), then fires the bottle after several minutes (during which the tension in the room builds and everyone stares in silence with intense anticipation). The bottle is projected with such speed that I wasn't able to see it in flight during several firings. The explosive noise of the bottle hitting the wall is incredible in that hollow hall, causing many viewers to jump (including me) even though they're expecting it.

Pretty cool, huh? Here's a photo of the blurb:

There's also an elephant balancing on its trunk like some kind of monstrous ballerina:

It's a real elephant skin, complete with ugly hair in places, though inside is of course a mechanical frame made by the artist, Daniel Firman. There are no external cables supporting it though; the entire thing is balanced on its trunk. Very impressive: the tail and hind legs nearly touch the roof of the hall.

But particularly impressive was "Dump" by Swiss artist Christoph Büchel. It's a massive pile of rubbish rising up to the ceiling of the poorly lit hall, with what looks like a sewer pipe leading into the middle:

If you're brave enough you can crawl up that dark pipe, an intensely visceral experience that nevertheless doesn't really prepare you for the shock and revulsion that awaits you. For an intricate world exists within that dump: makeshift living quarters for imagined poverty-stricken families, complete with everything you might expect to find in a full-blown slum. Politically provocative and very, very claustrophobic.

If any of you are going to be in Paris within the next month I'd highly recommend you visit this exhibition. Entrance is 6 euros.
Veteran Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
2008-07-27, 23:05

Amazing, thanks for sharing these.
Selfish Heathen
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
2008-07-28, 00:56

Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post


Veteran Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: State of Flux
2008-07-28, 02:24

Thanks, Dorian. Looks like a good day out.

One could really get others' attention with the beer bottle gun!
9" monochrome
Join Date: May 2004
Location: 🇦🇺
2008-07-28, 07:21

Thanks for sharing DG - I love contempoary art and installations, although, I must admit, I usually only check it out whilst on holiday.
Hates the Infotainment
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
2008-07-28, 09:30

Holy crap that thing is cool as all get-out. Now we need high speed camera footage (super-slow-mo) of the bottles disintegrating against the wall.
OK Mr. Sunshine!
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto
2008-07-28, 13:40

LOL, contemporary art for nerds

Yeah, I think it's cool too, but not particularly interesting as "art".
Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
2008-07-28, 15:24

Indeed, though seeing photos of it isn't the same as being in the room with it and waiting for the enormous violence that you know is going to erupt at any moment. A beer bottle moving at 600 km/hr makes quite a bang when it hits something. Much of the green glass below the barrier is actually a fine powder. The bottle practically vaporises.
Antimatter Man
Join Date: May 2004
Location: that interweb thing
2008-07-28, 15:29

99 bottles of beer into the wall...
98 bottles of beer!
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