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The Excursus Contraption, 2012 | Gold Splinter
The Contraption was built as the key kinetic element for a butoh dance-based performance called Excursus, created in collaboration with dancers Sara Baird and Julie Becton-Gillum. Partially inspired by a sea-faring vessel, The Contraption itself is a large, functioning rickshaw whose yoke unlocks to fold upward, becoming a ladder-like mast from which a large fabric sail is suspended. This was a design element that enabled the cart to be used as a projection surface or even a rolling billboard of sorts. The vehicle served as a mobile platform for many performers throughout the piece. Excursus has been performed publicly numerous times and was funded in part by a grant from the Media Arts Project.
The vehicle frame is constructed mostly of white oak, milled from a tree in whose shadow designer/builder Christopher Perryman grew. It was ebonized through a natural chemical process and oiled for protection. The wheels are coned aluminum attached to oak rims. The vehicle is approximately 10’L x 6’W x 12’H (when the yoke is up). The wheels are approximately 5′ in diameter.