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February 2, 2006

{     Michel De Broin Shared Propulsion Car     }

Picture this: You're standing at a cross walk on an otherwise normal day waiting for the light to change. You hear some giggling, some commotion, and an odd rattling. You turn and see what appears to be a 1986 Buick Regal. But it's different. The paint job is mostly gone. The whole thing looks like it could fall apart at any second. And there isn't the familiar sound of an engine idling. The giggling continues as the light changes. You stare as the car slowly moves away. It creaks; squeaks, and you swear you hear sounds that usually come from a bicycle. What you have probably just seen is Quebecois artist Michel De Brion with his friends in "Shared Propulsion Car".

"Shared Propulsion Car" is a 1986 Buick Regal whose engine, transmission, suspension, and electrical system have been replaced by 4 independent pedal and gear works. With a sophisticated transmission mechanism that coordinates the efforts of the passengers so the car can move efficiently it is capable of reaching speeds of around 15 km an hour.

De Brion flippantly reports the most common reaction to the car is jealousy causing him to nickname it "La Jalouse." "That means the jealous in French," says De Brion. "The name came out when I produced the piece with my friend Frederic In Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, in the North east of Quebec, there I felt for the first time that people were jealous of my car when a bunch of artists came to see it and refused to recognize it's conjectural importance. I think that The Canada Council for the Arts was also jealous. They didn’t give me any funding. I think because they didn’t want an American to be the first to try the Shared Propulsion car."

Michel has theoretically linked this and his other work to the idea of resistance. When asked how Shared Propulsion Car specifically deals with the concept he says, "To make a useless car able to drive again resists time. It carries with it strategic resistance to traffic laws because you don't need anyone to authorize the ride. A pedal car doesn’t need a permit. Physical resistance applies to the four guys who cycle. As a cyclist, creative resistance applies in being able to occupy the New York streets in a car powered by pedals."

This post originally appeared in Zoo Magazine No 9.

     » Michel De Broin
     » Shared Propulsion Car
     » Zoo Magazine


Sorry, but what is kimerikas?


Posted by: sweeta-sm at March 27, 2008 5:18 AM

Sorry, but what is kimerikas?


Posted by: sweeta-sm at March 27, 2008 5:19 AM

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Posted by: ir hl dn jc at December 13, 2008 8:34 AM
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