This year I put a ridiculous amount of time and energy into making a solar powered remote control car demolition derby (Green Mini Demo Derby). From asking numerous businesses to consider sponsoring a solar powered remote control car demolition derby, to building a mobile solar power station, to learning about remote control cars, retrofitting them so they are able to efficiently destroy each other, and spending countless hours painting corporate logos on cars and uniforms, it was a long, often confusing, process. I was nervous and excited (mainly terrified) for the first event, hoping the cars got charged efficiently, ran well, broke well, and that the event would be exciting.
The first round is now over and I’m preparing for the Championship on November 14th, 6pm at Inova, Milwaukee, WI. The Riverwest Public House, Brenner Brewing Co, Sky High Skateshop, and Midwest Photovoltaics will be competing for the Championship and there will be a large grudge match of the nine remaining racers!
What it is:
The Green Mini Demo Derby includes a mobile solar electric power generator that fuels a demolition derby made up of remote control cars. Businesses have sponsored race teams, with each team having their own driver, car, and uniform. The cars have customized wood bodies and compete on a plywood course. There will be multiple heats of between 6 and 8 cars, with the winners of each heat competing in a final race for the trophy. These competitions will occur over the course of the Mary L Nohl exhibition at INOVA, Milwaukee, WI, USA with the cars being displayed as they transform.
About the project:
Green Mini Demo Derby brings the worlds of county fairs and alternative energy into collision. Businesses were invited to sponsor a car and share in this absurd, urgent experiment in sustainable destruction. The sponsors, largely companies looking to create ethical business models, can make a game of (and possibly comply with) the capitalist tenets of self-interest and survival of the fittest. The pleasure and pathos of this project is amplified as the viewer watches a local corporate death match wrapped in a cloak of environmental sustainability.
You can see more at: greenminidemoderby.tumblr.com/
This is the first project I have ever worked on with sponsors. Although the vast majority of businesses I spoke to thought I was nuts or just were not interested, I am thrilled to have this great lineup of supportive businesses and organizations.
Solar Sponsor: Midwest Photovoltaics
Event Sponsor: Milwaukee Shines
Solar Panel Sponsor: Helios Solar Works
Exclusive Car Sponsors:
Ape Girl / Monga (the movie)
Classic Slice Pizza
Long Arm Farm
Midwest Renewable Energy Association
Sky High Skateshop and Gallery
Car Sponsor: Beans and Barley
Excited to have work from my Getting By in the Foreverscape series in a group expo with Marc Horowitz, Lois Patiño, and Susie Tarnowicz at the Wexford Art Center, Wexford, Ireland. It just opened yesterday.
Wexford Art Center link
I recently spent a week at the Little Brown Mushroom Camp for socially awkward storytellers. It was put on by Little Brown Mushroom and Alec Soth. More a workshop than a residency we met each day and did projects, shared these projects, heard from visiting artists, and had great lunches and dinners together. It was difficult at times for me, I was working much faster than I am used to, the only one making drawings and surrounded by accomplished photographers. It was intimidating, but fantastic, I learned so much, got a few good stories out of it, and made some new friends. I did manage to take some photos, which were embarrassing to show and made some drawings. Excited that one of the photos I made is going to be in the British Journal of Photography.
And here are press links about the project :
I’m excited to finally have completed the first car for my upcoming Green Mini Demo Derby. Thanks to my sponsor Midwest Photovoltaics, this is your car for the Demo Derby. I have many other sponsors that will have their own cars, and will be posting their photos shortly. After many tests, I have been building all the bodies out of wood and aluminum flashing, and on inspection you can see this one has already had a few repairs after testing.
A short description of the project:
The Green Mini Demo Derby includes a mobile solar electric power generator that fuels a demolition derby made up of remote control cars. Businesses have sponsored race teams, with each team having their own driver, car, and uniform. The cars have customized wood bodies, and will compete on a plywood course. There will be multiple heats of between 4 and 6 cars, with the winners of each heat competing in a final race for the trophy. These competitions will occur over the course of the Mary Nohl exhibition at Inova, Milwaukee, with the cars being displayed on pedestals as they transform.
What kind of knowledge does a person need to know in order to survive the threats of our terror-stricken, post-9/11, environmentally fraught, natural-disaster-prone day and age? With tongue firmly in cheek, Colin Matthes has created a series of posters illustrating in great detail what he takes to be the “Essential Knowledge” of today. This includes how to prepare small game, make weapons in a pinch, throw a knife, start a fire without matches, encode messages, shoot a semi-automatic pistol, make a boat from the ruins of a gas station, purify water, and break down a door. The resulting series registers as part Boy Scout manual, part outdoorsman guidebook, part Army/Navy training notes, and part, um, paranoid conspiracy theorist Internet search results. What could be more apt reading for the average American? With the right packaging—certainly not the scrawled, lone man in the woods drawing style that the artist has perfected—Matthes could have a best-seller on his hands. And a whole lot of blood.
—Lori Waxman 5/31/13 4:09 PM
Check out coverage of the new print sets on Printeresting
Each print set is a series of instructional posters teaching basic skills for success in challenging situations. Each print is 15.5x11in, photocopy printed in a edition of 50 on thick paper. The sets are eight prints each, signed, and packaged in plastic sleeves.
For more information or to purchase the print sets ($18 each) stop by Sky High Gallery in Milwaukee or contact Colin Matthes at email@example.com
I have four exhibitions in the next few months. Lots of new work that I made while living back and forth between Milwaukee and Ireland the last two years.
To read more click here.