HelloÂ Gift Horse fans! The days at the Garage are pleasantly blurring together. Artists everywhere are building their projects and we are stage center in the construction zone.
Today was a divide-and-conquer kind of day. While Victoria was fitting the chest panels (don’t they look good), I was busy with the lasercutter and figuring out how to put score lines into the small virus sculptures. After two hours, I had handfuls of the next round of viruses, including Koobface, Dengue Fever, The Andromeda Strain and ILOVEYOU for workshops this weekend.
Here, we see a glimpse of what the Trojan Horse will look like when fully-paneled. Now that the dust has literally settled, we are beginning to clad the horse.
We had a special guest stop by, Rudy Rucker, science fiction writer and thinker. He appropriately worked on a Snow Crash virus along with his friend, Chris.
Other visitors helped build paper sculptures as well. Pictured here are Diane and Sally, whom we caught in conversation fulfilling one of our goals to gather strangers together in real space.
Finally, Ken Gregory gave us a demonstration of his impressive whip-cracking skills. He will make an excellent slavemaster for the Green Prix parade, exhorting the Greek Warriors to push the horse down the streets.
Today we shifted to the virus-making portion of Gift Horse, where anyone can assemble a virus sculpture to be placed inside the belly of the Trojan Horse. The gesture is to gather people in real space, give them a way to hand-construct their “artwork” and to hide hundeds of the mini-sculptures inside the horse.
The first virus to go inside, the Rat of the Chinese zodiac, was The Andromeda Strain, an imaginary virus from the film. This father-daughter team cut, folded and glued the paper sculpture together and she did the honors of secreting it inside the armature.
It takes a long time to cut each virus from the printed sheet. This is where the lasercutter from the Tech Shop came in handy. In the afternoon, we traced the outlines of the Snow Crash virus and tried cutting it out. After about an hour of fiddling around with settings and alignment, I was able to get a batch done.
Hurray for mechanized production!
This halved the assembly time from 30 minutes to 15 minutes, bypassing the tedious cutting step. Perhaps this is a compromise in the process of hand-construction techniques, but I’ll gladly make the trade-off for practicality.
The next person to sit with us was Jeff who worked on one of the freshly-cut Snow Crash viruses.
These are the first 4 viruses that are part of the Gift Horse project for the upcoming 01SJ Biennial, built originally as 3D models and then translated into paper sculptures. We are making 12 in total and stuffing hundreds of them inside the 13-foot high Trojan Horse.
From left to right, we have Tobacco Mosaic Virus — the first virus ever discovered, then Smallpox, historically significant since it was eradicated (save for two repositories in storage); then Andromeda Strain — an extra-terrestrial virus — from the 1971 movie. Finally there isÂ Dengue Fever, which has no known vaccine, is usually non-fatal, and is spread through mosquitos and is significant due to its rampant increase from climate change, especially in non-western countries.
We based the physical models on these reference images, abstracting designs from them.