"Love, Inertia and the pursuit of the Perfect Stance" is a project that celebrates the pursuit of a dream and our long romance with automobiles. It is a story about a labor of love that honors craftsmanship and the gratification that comes from customizing a piece of history into a work of art. Over the past 3 years I have been meticulously transforming a 1963 Ford Falcon Deluxe Club Wagon into a fully street-legal sculpture. The work aims to connect this surviving artifact of idealistic Americana with the elements and gestures of a contemporary "customize everything" subculture. As an artist, I am not only fascinated with the material qualities and craft of the this subculture, but furthermore the resulting attitude or "stance" that those gestures communicate. This vehicular tour-de-force, is a tangible method of exploring and existing within that resulting visual language. I want to insert this work into every possible context, from car advertisement to gallery shows, from traditional hot rod shops to concept-rich art schools, the beach scene of California to the gallery scene of NYC, along the back roads of this great nation.
Now, after the years of dreaming and drawing, planning and hunting, measuring and cutting, the welding and grinding, the project has built up some really exciting momentum. The community it is growing! Art-lovers, car-lovers, and curators are following the build and getting more and more excited. Art magazines and blogs are nibbling, eager to feature it and I'm in conversation with some influential fine-arts organizations about showing it. Things seem to be coming together beautiful, all except for the money that makes a project this scale happen...
Thank you KICKSTARTER for existing! Finally we have a straightforward way that enables the excitement and buzz of a community fund creative endeavors! I'm delighted to share this project with you at this point in its creation. This the part where everything comes together. I hope you are as excited as I am to be a part of it. Please, join the community and help me keep this ball rolling and see this piece to completion! And remember, Kickstarter is all-or-nothing and it won't happen without you amazing people!
HELP MEANS MORE THAN WORDS
Want to help? Make a contribution, large or small. Everything helps! Take a look at the thank you gifts, and get yourself something good. If $ isn't in the cards for you, no sweat! Please, be awesome, and pass this along to people that would enjoy it or be inspired by it. Please share, like, tweet, blog, email, radio-shout-out, or talk too loud in an elevator. I will be eternally grateful for any help or hype! THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Questions? Please do not hesitate to send me a note. Let's talk it out.
GREATER THAT THE SUM OF ITS PARTS
While built on the same body style as the early Econoline E100 work vehicles, the Falcon Deluxe Club Wagon was rarer, limited edition version marketed towards families. They came with extras, like fancy chrome trim, a plush interior, seating for 8, 17 ashtrays, and windows everywhere. They were designed to be the ultimate "go out and see America" adventure mobile. Small on the outside, huge on the inside.
I searched high and low across California before I found the perfect candidate. I bought the vehicle in 2007 and drove it for a couple years while I made notes and planned its fate. I then began to strip it down and cut it up.
The biggest hurdle of the project was engineering the frame. Working around the original "unibody" was not going to give the results that the vehicle needed. So, I proceeded to design and fabricate a tube steel substructure that would allow me to squeeze in custom independent front and rear suspension with air ride. Far better than the original components, air ride makes it possible for the vehicle to lift, lean, and lower to the ground. I chose the components carefully, sourcing parts that would permit me to maintain the original floor height. This was critical and will be well worth the challenge, enhancing the interior experience and comfort of passengers.
The interior, when complete, will be similar to the interior of a WW2 era plane; beautiful metal, purposeful, clean, and all buisness. Keeping true with the mission of the rest of my sculpture, nothing will be hidden or covered up. I want all the details and hard working components to get as much "credit" as the rest of the vehicle.
The body is has undergone hours cutting, patching, welding, and smoothing. No bondo, no fiberglass, no BS. This vehicle will be made of nothing but honest materials worthy of its ethos and history. Every repair and modification I've made, has been done with parts from of similar era of vehicles. Just recently, I added extra bay doors to the driver side for symmetry and so that every passenger has a door. Now, when all 8 doors are open the presence of the vehicle nearly doubles in size and every interior detail is visible to the audience.
For the drivetrain I have plans for a modern turbo-diesel motor connected to a manual transmission. This will be a powerful, reliable, and fuel efficient solution, and will provide the option to run on BioDiesel whenever available. I eagerly await the day when a turn of the key will put new life into this monster!
GIFTS FOR GIFTS
LABOR OF LOVE
Made of honest materials and familiar icons these objects aim to spark the conversation of form + function. Using tactile, mechanical structures, and vehicles which engage audience participation, to focus the attention of the viewer not only to the spectacle of the resulting forms, but equally to the materials and craftsmanship which constitute them. Simply put, within these works no material is disguised and no mechanism is hidden. My work is meant to be picked up, poked at, sat in, and rolled around. I want people to question their use intellectually and practically - to this end, physical interaction with the work is absolutely necessary. I consider my furniture to be sculptural, and my sculpture to be curiously functional; it is in the tension between these two aspects that I find my aesthetic and conceptual focus
A THOUSAND WORDS
For more images and other work... shawnhibmacronan.com
Risks and challenges
Along the way, things will go awry, but that's okay. The risk comes with the territory of a mechanical art project of this scale. Believe me, I've been down this road before, unexpected issues are a critical part of the creation process and regularly lead to a much better outcome. In fact, I look forward to those surprises and what insight they provide. That's why I do what I do.
Those surprises and set-backs may delay the completion date a bit, but in no way will they risk the project as a whole. If this campaign is successful, I will work tirelessly to see the project through to the end and will make sure you get rewarded for your support. If you are hesitant about my ability to complete this, please have look at my past work and feel assured that your contribution will not be wasted and you will LOVE the finished piece.
Even before Kickstarter was unleashed to the world, the first phase of this project was well underway, regardless of my own meager budget. Since then it has made beautiful, slow and steady progress. At this point, the complicated and unpredictable phases are mostly over and the glorious culmination is in sight. With your help, the project will gain unstoppable momentum.
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