I have been making these creatures for over 15 years now. I think that’s either amazing or crazy. But the best part is it’s still fresh to most people. It is part of a very old shop-art tradition, where scraps from a skilled workshop get turned into animorphic creatures. Lots of technicians in electronic assembly facilities have done something similar with their scraps, and told me about it. Not so many have followed the art form out into its outer reaches of narrative and metaphor.
Metavores are Metaphors
obviously, and fun ones at that. The official metavore story line is under development, and there is lots of room for other imaginators to play in this universe. You can check out my (woefully out of date) website Electronic Ouroborus for the story and some pictures.
Find one of your Very Own
We have a small stack of creatures available for sale in our secret hiding place. So secret I’m not sure how to get to it. All our work was hand crafted in Edmonton, Alberta, in our laboratory on the south side of town.
Watching Open Source unfold is such an exciting thing. I’m one of those guys with a million and ten ideas about how to change the world and no time to do 99.9994 of them (that’s right, 16 amazing things to pay attention to!). But dropping a thought into an expanding culture… way more efficient!
A few months ago, an installation of an H13 hexayurt caught my attention: Korkalo is an artist collective in the neighbourhood of Vallila in Helsinki, Finland. They installed and inhabited a fancy MDF hexayurt in their local park to serve as a stage and gallery. The Question they Asked: what would art do in the face of a massive system disaster. The Answer as near as I can tell (only some of the material is in a language i read) ; gather people to share information, comfort, and ideas.
The stage/gallery they chose to ask this question in is a very open source project, the Hexayurt, which is a great at catching the imagination of artists and crafty people by it ease of construction and efficiency of materials. You don’t have to show this design to a builder or crafter more than once for them to have it in their emergency toolkit forever.
I like how Kuori uses some strong hinges to make this hexayurt more open than most.
” Our idea was to create a hub, an enclosed space from which things could expand and contaminate the space of Hauhonpuisto Park. For this reason we planned our hexayurt so that two of the six walls effectively become a large gate opening onto the outside space.”
last week some friends and i went for a walk in the local ravine. we brought some lanterns and a firepit on a wagon. all accounts concur that it was a great evening in the park. the weather was perfect too, chilly but not dangerous. and the snow that had been threatening for the last week held off until we were back at the beginning around a big fire. pictures by Luke Smith, thanks!
I’m involved in a festival project in my home town of Edmonton, AB, that takes on the colder half of our year. It’s called Winter Light, cause we light up the long dark days of winter. At our latitude, we can have as little as 4 hours of daylight in December. Which is crazy. Especially if you are stuck in school or work for those 4 hours. You can see all about Winter Light at our styley website here: www.winterlight.ca (website no longer maintained)
Last weekend we launched our new Season and our newly founded Non-Profit Society. Up till now we have been a City of Edmonton created and funded project, that startup situation is now over and we are free to find our own fate as a non profit. Comes with perks and challenges ;)
I get to be the Lantern Co-Ordinator and Artistic Director of one of our events, which is about the most interesting job title I’ve ever had. And it means I get to build really fun things. For our launch, I worked on some more vector design + waterjet cut wood construction, and built a really fancy stage.
Best Part was everyone loved everything. Food, Music, Art, Fires. Other best part was we got the whole thing installed with time to spare. Must be practice or something.
so, Pictures! thats what you and me are here for right? Here’s the pictures:
a question was asked on the hexayurt google group (if you like hexayurts in a big nerdy way, and are not already on that list, why not browse over to http://groups.google.com/group/hexayurt/ to add yourself) about hexayurt based gazebo structures.
i have had this file in my pocket for a few months, done up extra special for a top-secret art installation, so i cleaned up the secret parts to show the basic framework of the hexa-gazebo.
i imagine this design to work best with plywood triangles, this may in fact be my only all-triangle hexafamilly design. maybe not. there are a lot of fun things to do with triangles.
as it has not been built, i do not know how strong the plan is. there are a few places where extra reinforcement may be needed. they are noted with simple lines- between the base points of the Leg Triangles, and from the center of the 3 open wall spaces. putting a 2×2 or something similar there would also allow convenient attachment of bug screens, drapes, or whatever else the local ecosystem needs for comfort.
here is the downloadable sketchup (version 8) file:
as noted in the file and picture, these pictures and files are available under the creative commons license (CC BY-SA) -attribution, share-alike;
and since i had to look it up to find out what i meant, here is the link to cc-by-sa 3.0. hope you found it as educational as i did :) actually, i hope everyone already knows all about it, cause it’s awesome.
A big part of my art is site specific lighting installations. I created a new set of cad + waterjet woodcut Lanterns and Light Towers for Astral Harvest. Fun times.
Extending my scope of action is always a fun thing to do, even the painful learning curves (of Adobe Illustrator for example) become satisfying and even enjoyable after the fact. even if it is often takes months.
I had a lot of help from people: Scott Davis did pretty much all of the metal drilling cutting and welding. I’m borrowing a flamethrower from Dancing Wolf. Christy Boulter reminded me of the giant lenses from warehouse HID lighing, available at several re-used building supplies stores. And Austen at Hydrosion has been amazing at turning my vector pictures into finely sliced wood.
New Years Eve, 2010. Our community holds an annual gathering for about 5 days to celebrate and reflect on the last year and imagine for the next year. We call it Intention Alberta, after the much longer running Intention on the west coast of BC. This year we put a project in motion to test and increase our capacity to assemble off grid shelter. The Hexayurt was the open-hardware building style we chose to work with.
There are a bunch of pictures and models posted previously; here we have a time lapse movie of the second stage of assembly. the base was put together the day before. As you may be able to see: we used a frame, square-edged SIPs (structural insulated panels) and triangular wedges to fill the corner gaps. Our next SIP-a-yurt will have beveled edges on the SIPs and just 2 posts (center+front) and one beam for framing.
Note the sexy bathrobes: this was the Steampod (the group tasked with assembling structures and fires, particularly the steam pod itself) uniform. These bathrobes had a powerful effect on collaborative will and function. Highly recommended for any other off-beat construction process.
the hexathedral is a trip down a possibility in the triangles and rectangles of the classic. it makes me laugh. it would make me even more giddy if someone were to build one of these somewhere/how. i got started on this angle with a variation by kurt klingbell, which got me on the stellated roof concept.
this version didn’t seem as practical as the standard hexayurt, or even necessarily feasible, but it did have an aesthetic appeal, so i turned it into a church. with a big soundsystem made from the same arrangement of triangles as the roof. the speaker covers may be the most practical part of this model.
this is (L) copyleft… use freely BUT YOU HAVE TO TELL ME ABOUT IT!! and send pictures.
the hexatent, or tentayurt. this model is part of a hexayurt mashup adventure i had late at night one day. it may or may not have any advantages over the traditional hexayurt. what it does have is the same number of triangles and rectangles as a regular hexayurt in a different form.
suitable to make you think different at the very least. i’m also looking at the places where there are 8′ edges as locations that can be expanded with more flat panels.