member of:Observers of the Interdependence of Domestic Objects and Their Influence on Everyday Life


This group has been active for a long time and has already made some remarkable assertions which render life simpler from the practical point of view. For example, I move a pot of green color five centimeters to the right, I push in the thumbtack beside the comb and if Mr. A (another adherent like me) at this moment puts his volume about bee-keeping beside a pattern for cutting out vests, I am sure to meet on the sidewalk of the avenida Madero a woman who intrigues me and whose origin and address I never could have known...
--Remedios Varo


(Artwork by Remedios Varo)
By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
--Franz Kafka

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A New Perspective From the Scraps of the Old

Note: All photos in this post, unless otherwise marked, taken by Flickr member pitt6rngs, also known as Greg.




Forevertron, image by Mister Joe.


photo by Greg


photo by Greg

Tom Every of Freedom, Wisconsin, knows a scholarly, Victorian-era professor named Dr. Evermor. In 1890, Dr. Evermor began building a machine to “perpetuate himself through the heavens on a magnetic lightning force beam inside a glass ball inside a copper egg.” The contraption he began building behind a surplus store, on the concrete slab left over from a demolished schoolhouse in Freedom is called Forevertron, and he (Every/Evermore) even constructed a gazebo called “The Teahouse,” complete with rather imposing thrones, for the King and Queen to have their imperial view. A 70-member bird-band is on hand to entertain them.


photo by Greg



photo by Greg


photo by Greg


photo by queenodesign.


photo by “What Jamie Found”

There are also Celestial Listening Ears, with two stations for listening to voices from the heavens. At the top of the entire contraption is a glass ball, strapped in copper, which will serve as Dr. Evermor’s space capsule.

At one time, not so long ago, you could take a tour of this--claimed to be the world’s largest sculpture formed of recycled scrap metal--Forevertron, a 300-ton kinetic sculpture, guided by Mr. Every himself. He would explain, “The Forevertron is built from important historical material, including those dynamos, which were constructed by [Thomas] Edison around 1882 -- they come from the Ford Museum. And this unit was the decontamination chamber from the Apollo space mission. A lot of the rest is from power houses from the 1920s.” He explained to the writers at RoadsideAmerica:

"The Apollo decontamination chamber was in three trailers [donated to a university]. We wrecked and scrapped most of it, but I kept the two autoclaves that the moon rocks were passed through...We contacted NASA to try to get papers authenticating it, and boy -- they're very touchy about what happened to that stuff. We did get the original drawings and it's the same damn thing."



photo by Greg


Photo by queenodesign


photo by whereling on Flickr

All the birds and all the bugs--some of them 15 tons of scrap metal teetering in the air over spindly legs--were created by this Dr. Evermor without the aid of models, sketches, or blueprints. And in fact, he’s never had any formal art training at all--he just grew up captivated by odd pieces of the refuse of society, which he started selling and trading at a young age, from a basket on his bike. As an adult, he went on to work in “industrial wreckage,” where he got some of the pieces he later used for his sculpture, which he began to build when he left that business in 1983. He had tired of destroying, of erasing these fascinating structures from the landscape of the country, and from the memories of its people. He wanted to create, and he wanted to remind. While he was building, he ceased to be Tom Every, and became Dr. Evermor.


photo by Great Beyond.


According to PBS’ Off The Map,

The Forevertron is made up of carburetors and generators, early x-ray machines and theater speakers, river barges and hamburger signs, to name just a few of its components. The end result is important to Dr. Evermor. Possibly more important, however, is that each historic piece speak for itself. His aim is to blend these objects while preserving their individuality and unique form: “Rather than imposing one’s will on something that’s already been created, you leave it alone and you just add or move another piece in as a blender that’ll tie it from one to another… things that were of historic significance we leave alone.” For example, the pair of late nineteenth-century bi-polar dynamos acquired from the Henry Ford Museum stand on their own while being seamlessly integrated into the Forevertron.


And, continuing with what appears to be developing here as a theme of animism and the curious power of charms, he explains:

These forms were made in a certain time frame, and we can pick up the energy of whoever the creator was, whether it be a small blade or something else. That unique form comes along again and is put in that place, so that you always have that energy. That little piece may have a very historical connection to other things and beings of a certain time frame.



It certainly is a large charm, full of the energy and impulse of the industrial age. Clunky, heavy steel transformed into feathers and the first strains of a celestial melody...





photo by Greg




photo by Greg

18 comments:

  1. je connais beaucoup d'artistes ' récup' mais ces créations sont particulièrement beau!

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  2. O...I would love to see these in person! You always find something to stimulate the mind Zoe, this is wonderful!

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  3. Zoe, this is fabulous! So magical. So creative. I would love to spend an afternoon walking among these whimsical creations, just admiring and enjoying. Thank you for a beautiful and thank you to Greg for some beautiful photos!

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  4. I thought that perhaps you wouldn't see the comment I left after your comment on my blog. Zoe, I never thought about Loraine being and extension of the moths. After I read your comment, I gave your observation much thought. And I felt warm fuzzies that, yes, you're right. Someone had to explain the moths' appearance. This was Loraine. But someone had to explain Loraine. This was you, sweet, wonderful Zoe, a real angel if ever there were one. Thank you!

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  5. Superbes créations!!!j'aime particulièrement les oiseaux ,merci Zoe pour cette découverte à très bientôt

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  6. Thank you so much for this really fantastic post! I was awestruck! Those magical creatures might exist somewhere in faraway galaxies!

    PS we once were wheeled?? Oh could have been!

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  7. This is a great piece of art as well as a lovely read. It must must great to see this all in real life too.

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  8. Heisann!

    I reached you via Yew Tree Nights.
    Enjoy your posts!

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  9. Wow, Zoe, what an amazing place to see... The birds are incredible, fantastic, in every sense of the word!

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  10. i'm glad you guys liked these, i was really excited when i discovered them. sometimes you fall onto something that makes the world seem so much bigger, full of things you'd never thought of. i love little universes tucked into corners like this...

    kittie, your comments are so kind and generous!

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  11. Zoe, these are fantastic, incredible works of art and an interesting reading, thank you!

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  12. You made me remember Theo Jansen. Suddenly it came to my mind. It just took me a few minutes to find the link and watch it again. :))) Thanks.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/theo_jansen_creates_new_creatures.html

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  13. What a trip! Love those birds. I need to send you some pix I took of some sculptures along the Trail of the Couer d'Alenes. Here's some a friend led me to in Seattle. http://www.briancharlesclark.com/tim-fowler’s-sculpture-haven/ And, yes, I love Stieg Larsen! I've read the first two and am panting as I wait for the third to come in the mail from England.

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  14. 很喜歡你的文章~繼續加油唷^^. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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  15. Zoe, are you on holiday! Spring is a beautiful time to enjoy Nature's beauties.

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