Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Micycles and recycles

Recycle – a solar powered kinetic sculpture

This piece features a real bicycle and a human-rider-like figure made out of metal and plastic scrap with an electric motor mounted in a satchel on the figure’s back. The figure holds a large and whimsical umbrella which is covered in solar panels. Current from the panels drives the motor which turns the legs of the human figure.

Behind the bicycle is an ordinary municipal rubbish bin which is being “towed” by the bike. The bin has been slightly modified: its lid has been removed and in place of the lid is a tight cover with a hole in its centre, large enough to allow glass and plastic bottles in. When a passer by inserts an item into the bin, it hits a trip wire as it falls. This activates the motor for two minutes. In other words, people have to put a recyclable item into the bin to turn on the motor and get “re-cycling.” A time switch keeps the motor running for two minutes after which it stops until someone puts more rubbish in.


I keep Spinifex hopping mice, and I would employ them – at well above the minimum wage – to run on mice wheels that are connected to a generator which powers an old record turntable upon whose perimeter are mounted tiny little bicycles – actually micycles. The faster the mice run, the more quickly the micycles spin round and round.

A second mouse powered turntable could be used to play appropriate music. The music would be pumped out via loudsqueakers. The practical applications of this invention are so obvious there is no need to mention them.

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