Thomas Arthur Schaefer

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gas - It's Forms and Functions


I'm reading another book this evening in bed as I most often do... or excuse me... this morning — but for some reason I'm reminded from it - a work I did in college that I do not own or even have documentation of anymore. This piece of art or maybe more aptly put 'industrial design' is of great interest to me this evening. I'm believe I was 21 when I made this work... so thats almost 10 years ago.
I found 2 shopping carts that were abandoned in my backyard and brought them into the house. At the time I was living with the artist Scott Michael Newman and the artist David Williams was living upstairs from us. So anyways, I brought these two shopping carts (KROGER supermarket) into the house. They were your older fashioned metal-rod cart with grey plastic'ated metal rods and steel tubbing making up the structure - maybe it was aluminum... point made... they were metal... not the plastic that you see in most carts today. I removed (by cutting with hack saw) the wheels from both carts and then cut the left side off of one cart and right side off of the other. I removed the front drop-down portions from each as well. Then, because I didn't have a welding touch, began the sew the 2 carts together at the cut front and exposed side portions with plastic encased wired (more a weaving than sewing... but the same idea). After this was complete I added rubber feet to the cut rods which used to function as wheel legs, but were now just 'couch' legs. In the end I was left with a comfortable couch that would seat 3 people easily. The next step was to produce cushions custom built to fit these shopping cart couches - with its own grocery store theme. But I never got to this step.
We moved the unfinished grey couch on the back porch, because it took up so much space in the small living room and it didn't have cushions yet and thus wasn't a functional couch and actually worked well on the porch (maybe thats why it was really there... we needed some where to sit). It stayed out there a few weeks without incident.
After classes one day, as I rode my bike into the yard and found that the couch had disappeared. A week later another artist who we were great friends with, David Skorepa came to our house and said that he had seen the couch on the second floor management space at our local Kroger. We all new that the shopping cart truck drove around town picking up lost carts all the time... but were amazed they had taken the couch... as it or they were no longer functional carts. So after a drink and a few smokes, we all ventured down to the local Kroger which was only 3 blocks away, only to find that - yes... the couch was now being used by Kroger staff in the management portion of the store, which was located on a second floor level above the checkout lines
I'm not sure why I am reminded of this work that I produced this night... or what may have triggered me to remember it. But I'm realizing tonight that it 'is' a work of art that I had not seriously considered.
My plan is to now develop 5 new couches and complete them with designer cushions and pillow sets — display all 5 in a gallery within 1 year along with selected documentation of the process. Each of the 5 carts will be from a different shopping center and the themes that each couch is based on (cushion and pillow prints) will be exclusive to that stores products and branding. Probably what I have available to me locally.
Maybe I can work it into an even 10 or more, if I can find the stores... we'll see... but this is project that has to be brought back and finished. It made sense when I did it the first time and it makes more sense to me now 10 years later.

1 comment:

Dave Skorepa said...

I found this by googling my own name. I had forgotten about that couch...good times.

BTW, i get horizontal scroll bars on your site. Shame shame mister.