Slow Travel: Crossing Europe with a Giant Land Ship

Belgian art collective Time Circus built their first prototype of a giant Land Ship that will travel through Europe. Like a modern-day galley, the land ship will be propelled by the muscle power of the participating travelers. The journey is understood as a 21st century pilgrimage and will take an estimated 10 years. [Read more…]

The Wave of the Future

personal effects laurie lipton 2016

“Personal Effects (after Hokusai) 2016″, 5footx7foot8”, charcoal & pencil on paper. Click to enlarge. By Laurie Lipton.

Hand Crank Marble Machine

low-tech music“The Wintergartan Marble Machine, built by Swedish musician Martin Molin and filmed by Hannes Knutsson, is a hand-made music box that powers a kick drum, bass, vibraphone and other instruments using a hand crank and 2,000 marbles.”

Read more at Wired: Wintergatan’s ‘Marble Machine’ makes music with 2,000 marbles.

Cargo Cults

supercargo headphones“The John Frum movement on the Oceanic island nation Vanuatu is a classic example of what anthropologists have called a “cargo cult”— many of which sprang up in villages in the South Pacific during World War II, when hundreds of thousands of American troops poured into the islands from the skies and seas.

Cargo cults appear when the outside world, with all its material wealth, suddenly descends on remote, indigenous tribes. The locals don’t know where the foreigners’ endless supplies come from and so suspect they were summoned by magic, sent from the spirit world.

To entice the Americans back after the war, islanders throughout the region started building giant airplanes from wood, carving headphones and radios from bamboo and awaited the messianic serviceman John Frum. They prayed for ships and planes to once again come out of nowhere, bearing all kinds of treasures: jeeps and washing machines, radios and motorcycles, canned meat and candy. Their rituals included the non militant army TAU (Tanna Army USA), marching with wooden rifles.

supercargo 2The more naive will laugh about these imitations. But did the US soldiers truly understand their technology, their big agenda? The cult of the cargo is our world exactly: We perform meaningless routines we call work, in hope for future cargo. With a technology that could navigate us to the moon, we write LMAO. The western world itself is a giant cult of imitating things that somehow work: dressing in suits, using buzzword-vocabulary, mimicing old forms of art. The longing for godlike goodies on the horizon, the usage of things we don´t understand: it’s a big parable of desire.

Surprisingly the local performers of the Cargo Cults succeeded: By remaking western technology with bamboo, by re-enacting western rituals they attracted actual planes full of tourists and anthropologists.”

Quoted from “In John they trust” (Smithsonian Magazine) and “The supercargo manifesto” (Supercargo Tumblr). Pictures: Supercargo Tumblr. Thanks to Edwin Gardner.

The Illusion-of-Control Tower

The illusion of control laurie lipton

By Laurie Lipton.

The Full Moon Theatre

moonlight theatre

Under good climatic conditions and using specific technology, the full moon can be a powerful source of light.

Using technology inspired by solar energy concentrators, the “Full Moon Theatre” lights its performances using only moonlight. Moonbeams are collected, concentrated, and focused on stage.

The original Full Moon Theatre was built in Southern France and their plan is to create twelve Full Moon Theatres worldwide.

[Read more…]