Ars Longa

Ars Longa est une structure de production, de diffusion, de médiation de toute forme d’art au croisement de l’Art, la Recherche et la Société, aussi bien dans l'espace public que privé. Elle privilégie les démarches innovantes et s’attache à l’appropriation pédagogique ou citoyenne des projets.

Automobilothèque, the Car Factory

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15/09/2012 - 06/10/2012

The car has always been an important subject for the arts. The project Automobilothèque, the Car Factory is an artist car, a car as an art object, but also a wider debate and research about the design of cars and the role of the car industry at a time when it is in crisis. The words Automobilothèque and Car factory suggest two things: On the one hand access to some kind of catalogue and secondly the real production of cars.
Since the 1970s the car has changed little in terms of concept, material and size. Crudely speaking, it consists of slotting four sofa chairs on top of a combustion engine. The car industry has disguised the absence of radical innovation through the strategy of the concept car; which permanently morphs the style of the exterior vehicle shell and adds increasingly complex electronic systems of control, in doing so it successfully blurs the boundary between real functional needs and transportation dreams. Perhaps the current car crises stems from this lack of radical change.
HeHe proposes to temporary join forces with the Nouvelle Fabrique at Le Centquatre in the form of an artist research residency. The goal is no less than to fill this void in the French automobile market and launch an artist run Car Company. The idea is simple, we reverse the current logic of car design: instead of reinventing the aesthetic exterior we change the concept of the car, its size, material and its technology. However, for the shape of the car, we will borrow from existing forms, appropriating the car industry’ s past. Technically speaking, we don’ t need much to make a car move. Our mechanics are based on integrated wheel/motor drives (already tested in the project Metronome) and batteries. The design of the car will use the vast library of the world wide web, which is loaded with 3d models (paper craft / Google 3d warehouse) provided by car enthusiasts. With the help of the resources of the Nouvelle Fabrique we will use these shapes to print and cut out our art car prototypes: Mercedes, Citroen, Porsche, Audi – whatever we like. Our art cars will mimic their large real world relatives, but being much smaller in size, they will be perceived as toy cars for adults to drive. The residency will take place every Wednesday between 16h-19h, from January to June 2013. In June HeHe will present the result of the residency and a first proof of concept. The research should provide the basis for imagining a larger event in form of a public race involving multiple art cars; produced in collaboration with the community and made available to local audiences to be driven in and outside le Centquatre.

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