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Asphalt – what a drag!

Posted on December 1, 2011

An animation run by its own device – an old cablewheel turned into a waterwheel and then put in the Kelvin River, in Glasgow, Scotland.

The animation consists of the gestures of a policeman signalling the traffic to go ahead. Its inspired by an old silent movie from 1929, Asphalt. The main character of the film being a traffic policeman, there are a lot of shots in the film referencing circulation, city life and street choreography.

The advent of the car based society in the 60s made obsolete the usage of the Kelvin river as a trade route and the consequent activity and animation that took place there before.

My piece is a site-specific installation. It references the location through the use of the idea of the waterwheel. At the same location, there used to be a mill run by the same principe. There they used to grind down stones and pebbles, that were then used for pottery and porcelain. My piece is done out of perspex, but I wanted to do hommage to the old crafts at the location by chosing the colors white and blue for the animation, ie the white and blue colors referencing porcelain traditions.

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