Sven Völker asks: How can a car inspire young students to create art?
Some Magazine answers: It is indeed a special constellation that the Some Magazine editorial staff, together with auto maker smart, has come up with: two musicians from the band Apparatjik, twelve design students from the University of Art and Design Halle, and a big box with all the parts for a smart fortwo electric drive.
smart meets art and car parts are transformed into light-space modulators
The mission begins on a sunny week in May: musicians Jonas Bjerre and Magne Furuholmen meet twelve design students. Their retreat is rough around the edges, loud and dirty. The wood and metal workshops at the University of Art and Design Halle will be their home for seven days. Beside them are the brand new, dissembled parts of a smart fortwo electric drive.
With this vehicle, smart is winning over many environmentally conscious drivers. It has already been of use to Apparatjik at several performances, including one at the New National Gallery in Berlin. Aside from Jonas Bjerre–the singer of Danish indie band Mew–and Magne Furuholmen–former keyboardist of the popular Norwegian band, a-ha–the unconventional, not-easily-classifiable band is also comprised of producer Martin Terfe and Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman. The »Light-Space Modulator« is their stage, an enclosing 6m by 6m cube from which they play their concerts. Its outside shell is utilized as a projection surface, turning the band members, standing on the inside, into silhouettes.
The challenge for the students in Halle arrives in a stuffed package. Sent from: smart, Sindelfingen.
Once opened, it reveals contents that are both fascinating and perplexing at once. How can they make art from these car parts? The pieces are highly specialized and have been optimized for their particular function within the smart fortwo electric drive . What can be done with a blower motor, a gearshift or a windshield wiper motor.
Would it be possible to build a machine that creates images using these parts?
Berlin-based designer Michael Sebastian Haas, who has experience building experimental machines, offers his expertise. The students together with Haas and the two Apparatjiks discuss their ideas, take on many different approaches, and power up the individual components to dive into the experiment. The work is intensive. Things are glued, screwed and drilled, as the individual parts are turned into artful objects, machines and installations.
The stand for the so-called Multi-Aqua-Projector comes together on the sliding table saw. The windshield washer tank is filled with water. The cordless screwdrivers twist screw after screw into wood and plastic. The color-rotator is equipped with markers, switched on, and starts drawing colorful pictures in a rotating motion. Tact and patience are required in arranging a ballerina’s shadow: the most moving design of them all. A parallel universe is created, which loosely references Apparatjik. Barriers are crossed, and are eventually completely broken. Everything is possible as night turns into day. Once the two Apparatjiks board their northbound plane and the doors to the workshop are closed, thunderstorms move in, marking the end of this inspiring project.