A Stab at Public Art.

Some time prior to 2010, I met a woman at a bar in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I chatted her up, and asked what she did. She replied “I’m a sculptor.” Curious, I asked where I could see her work, because I assumed that any sculptor would have outdoor public work. She replied that she didn’t have anything showing at the time.  Intent on making an ass of myself, I then started boasting about a “public sculpture” that I helped to design and build.  It was this pink camouflage tank in Philadelphia. 2837234108_22fb71585c_oMarissa, (pictured) is not the sculptor in question.

This thing was part of the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, in May 2008. It was driven by six bicycle cranks on the inside, with a driver and a turret operator. It was very slow. More photos here.

The lady from the start of the story and I went on to be good friends, despite my terrible manners. In the wake of our single abortive date, I decided that my claim to being a street art sculptor was too tenuous, and I designed and built this giant 12 sided die. I chose the 12 sided die because it was instantly recognizable to folks who had done role playing games, and because the twelve sided die is kinda useless in dungeons and dragons, as I recall. It’s in every drawstring velvet bag of dice, but you never really use it. It was also pretty easy to design, since all the panels are the same size and shape, and the angles between each planar side are equal.

4319044622_75e21b7274_oNot knowing anything about art, big/red/shiny was very much in earnest.

The 6 foot diameter 12 sided die lived in the sculpture garden on Frankford ave for a couple years. I believe the city cut it and the pink tank up because they were a drop point for local drug deals.

This project satisfied my desire to make public art, or to pretend that I was part of some kind of circa-2008 street art conversation. At this point, I’m not willing to inflict mediocre sculptures on the world without permission. Making giant silly stuff is really fun, but it takes up a lot of space.


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