Tuesday 26 April 2011

Pedal Powered Grain Mill

There is an artist in residence oppurtunity which is being offered by the Woodlands Community Trust and the criteria are that the artist uses the back alleys around woodlands in such a way as to engage the local community.

Now, for those of you who have ever been scouting out for a bit or furniture or pc then you will know that these back alleys are generally just a bit of a dumping ground really and all this rubbish tends to get mixed up with all the mud which gathers here.
SO, all in all they are what you might conisder to be a difficult place to do anything
with, they are not particularly nice places to spend much time and tend to have a funny smell about them.

I have been considering ideas for these spaces and was thinking along the lines of cooking, having remembered the Dalston Mill which was set up as part of Barbican's Radical Nature series of exhibitions and events. This was organised by a bunch of architects who set up a company called EXYZT in their year out and have never turned back (continued their education) since as they are so busy getting commission to make fantastic projects rather than imagining them on a drawing board.

Their idea was to recreate a small-scale version of Agnes Denes Wheatfield - A Confrontation, Battery Park Landfill, downtown Manhattan, 2 acres of wheat planted & harvested, summer 1982

They then managed to build a wind powered mill which powered a small electrical stone grinder into which they could put all the wheat which they had gathered. Making their own flour they brought the community together to make pizza and bread, for free. To view some images of the project, here is a link to a slideshow of Flickr images (alternatively click on one of the links above).

Taking this as my inspiration I would like to propose a mobile table and benches, which will be mounted on the frame of a trailer, upon which people will be able to make dough to bake their own pizza and bread. I will be importing a Country Living Grain Mill which I intend to connect up to an exercise bike, as demonstrated in the video below.

This can be installed in the back of the van which will be used to move the table so that the back doors can be opened up and the flour can be delivered directly onto the table so that people can make their dough instantly!

Richard (SEA4) has very kindly offered to donate his pizza oven with which we will be able to make fantastic pizzas, as we discovered last year.

The deadline for applications is this friday so wish me luck and I am very excited about the implications of this project, both short and long term. Although this may seem to be quite different to my usual practice (sound art) I am equally interested in this aspect of community work and wouldn't want to be labelled a sound artist. There are also various aspects of this work which relate to my public art project last year in which I installed a stile over the gate at the Kelvingrove Bandstand as a passive protest installation about the neglect of such an important historical and social space.

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