A compendium of craft masquerading as art, art masquerading as craft, and craft extending its middle finger.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Kinetic Sculpture Race!


Hi, dearies! I'm sorry for the brief hiccup in Extreme Craft coverage...I was taking my show on the road to beautiful Eureka, California. When I wasn't schlepping through the redwoods or hiking around the Arcata Marsh (a sewage treatment plant/wildlife preserve), I got a chance to attend a Cinco de Mayo benefit for Arcata's own Kinetic Sculpture Lab. For those of you not acquainted with the world of kinetic sculpture, I'm not talking about some boring-ass Calder monstrosity bobbing around on a museum lawn. I'm talking about a grueling 40-mile race from Arcata to Ferndale in human-powered sculptures that have to traverse mud, sand, water, and land.

The Kinetic Sculpture Race has become a rich local tradition, as well as obsession, and is dominated by Arcata's Kinetic Sculpture Lab, which puts together some of the most elaborate entries, which are fawned over by thousands of fans who line the route for the race, which occurs every Memorial Day. If you live in the Bay Area, it's well-worth the five hour trek to Arcata to witness the awesomeness. I can assure you that this particular brand of lunacy is taken deadly serious by the participants. Friday's benefit, which included music, wandering around the lab, and a specially constructed kinetic 7-hole miniature golf course, was a highlight of my trip. Sadly, I didn't get a chance to visit the Kinetic Sculpture Museum, which is in the nearby village of Ferndale. I'll have to make that the first stop of my next trip. Extreme Craft is alive and well on California's North Coast.

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