John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
It's astonishing to see what somebody can conjure from the leavings on a fix-it shop's floor.
I'm not sure I'd want any of the artists participating in this charity auction to attempt to fix my bike, lest I wind up with a Trek that looks like a giant quacking duck. But in terms of making weirdly wonderful sculptures for the home – please, take all my spare parts and go to town!
This year's pART Project – sponsored by SRAM, a Chicago-based bicycle-component company – has gathered 80 artists to undertake a quixotic task: assemble a vibrant artwork using a box of 100 parts like gears, chains and frame-related miscellany. The objets will be auctioned off on November 29 in New York City, with the proceeds going toward SRAM's World Bicycle Relief, an organization that has provided bikes and mechanical training to healthcare programs in Africa.
It's kind of astonishing to see what somebody can conjure from what might as well be the leavings on a fix-it shop's floor. The pART whizzes created an ark of metallic fauna, including a silvery carp, awkward ostrich, roadrunner and crouching cricket, a futuristic false-face spined with needles and a steam-punk-looking gas mask (Alex Bogusky's "Fresh Air," above), a tentacled monster could have galumphed out of a Hayao Miyazaki film, and other oddities. Here are a few of the more eye-snatching pieces, in no particular order:
"When I Spin, My Dress Spins Too"
Materials: SRAM bike parts, bike wheel, plaster, ceramic shards and spray paint
Materials: SRAM parts, used bicycle chains, silicon bronze
Moira Marti Geoffrion
"Roady Runnerensis Darwiniesii"
Materials: SRAM parts, screws, wood, bondo, epoxy, oil paint, metallic paint
"The Clouds Drink Deeply from my Electromechanical Soul"
Materials: SRAM parts, oil-painted urethane foam, rubber tubing, model plane
Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector
"Mask Composition with Bike Parts and Altered Deer Skull"
Materials: SRAM parts
Billie Grace Lynn
Materials: Sram parts, welded steel, bicycle inner tubes, epoxy
Images courtesy of SRAM's pART Project and the artists.