Skip

A really big circular slice of a building that moves. Yes.
October 30, 2009 4:17 AM   Subscribe

Haven't we all, at one time or another, wanted to carve an enormous circle into an industrial building facade and have it rotate in three dimensions? Of course we have. But Richard Wilson did it. That's right, he actually did it.

Wiki page on sculptor Richard Wilson, who also happened to be a founding member of the Bow Gamelan Ensemble.
posted by flapjax at midnite (76 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
...an enormous circle into an industrial building facade and have it rotate in three dimensions?

He made an 8 metres diameter ovoid cut from the façade of a building in Liverpool city centre and made to oscillate in three dimensions.

<pedant>It's rotating on a single axis.&lt/pedant>

But still cool.
posted by DU at 4:25 AM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's rotating on more than one axis.

And yeah, it's extremely cool.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:32 AM on October 30, 2009


No it isn't.

And yes, it is.
posted by DU at 4:33 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Amazing. Wh...wh..why are people walking past?! Or are they just getting out of shot? I expected to hear people shouting in amazement.
posted by tawny at 4:37 AM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is the sidewalk blocked off, in case any of these axes falls?
posted by orme at 4:39 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes it is, and yes it is.
posted by Outlawyr at 4:40 AM on October 30, 2009


Yup, that's a two-axis rotate, achieving three degrees of freedom. Impressive.
posted by effugas at 4:40 AM on October 30, 2009


I want my condo to be like this. I'll start cutting out a hole in the side of my house later today. I'll let you all know when I am finished.
posted by Eclipsante at 4:42 AM on October 30, 2009


I've got drunk in the Yates Wine Lodge below that hole on numerous occasions. I would have liked to come staggering out one night to see that hole in the building above.

From the comments:

"The sooner this eyesore gets torn down and this derelict piece of land blighting the area between the retail and commercial districts is dealt with the better, or perhaps any winos and druggies that hang around this no mans land are art too I suppose?"

One of the money-grubbing twats who work in the commercial district, no doubt.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:45 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


There is an illusion of 3DOF because the axis is off-plane with respect to the building. Nonetheless, if you examine this picture it's hard to find any second, let alone a third, axis.
posted by DU at 4:46 AM on October 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


Amazing. Wh...wh..why are people walking past?! Or are they just getting out of shot? I expected to hear people shouting in amazement.

i thought the same thing - but then i figured they're probably neighborhood folk who have seen this every day now for awhile - it's like when Godzilla attacks NYC: the tourists are all like "AAAAHHH" and the New Yorkers are like "yeah, he does that *every* Saturday morning"

anyways: way cool - good post
posted by jammy at 4:51 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


So did Bill Waterson.
posted by Mblue at 5:00 AM on October 30, 2009


There is an illusion of 3DOF because the axis is off-plane with respect to the building.

Well, I guess someone will argue that the fixed joint at the center is in fact made of rubber, but you're right, of course. Another strong hint that it's not rotating freely is that it's always "closed" at exactly the same point.

Here's a cake version of the building, btw, made for it's second birthday earlier this year.
posted by effbot at 5:02 AM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


That's totally cool.

But not very functional.

Still neat though.

Even if it turns a useful building into nothing more than a piece of art.

But damn it's cool!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:08 AM on October 30, 2009


Wildly missing the point I know, but the bar underneath is signed "Yates's Wine Lodge". *Grammar shudder*.

(I know some say one can do that with names ending in S, but normally only if the pronunciation needs it, it's defintely "Yate-ziz Wine Lodge" not "Yates-ziz-ziz Wine Lodge)
posted by daveyt at 5:09 AM on October 30, 2009


That's so cool. Best thing to do with a Yates's Wine Lodge really.

Lots of other good stuff on that blog too - I like the balls in the car park
posted by patricio at 5:21 AM on October 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


daveyt, how many fricatives are there in "ziz"? That's right, two. How many letters S does it take to form them? That's right, two. Yates's is the only correct usage.
posted by darksasami at 5:24 AM on October 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


This is the coolest thing posted on MeFi, ever.
posted by signal at 5:25 AM on October 30, 2009


Crazy amazing awesome scary what?
posted by kittyprecious at 5:36 AM on October 30, 2009


from first link: Turning the Place Over by Richard Wilson was an installation commisioned for the Liverpool 2008 Biennial. He made an 8 metres diameter ovoid cut from the façade of a building in Liverpool city centre and made to oscillate in three dimensions.

This piece was built in Liverpool in '08. The postal code for Toxteth, a notable city district in Liverpool, is Liverpool 8. Toxteth was the subject of a book by John Cornelius in 1982 titled Liverpool 8 and a predictably lackluster but not entirely unpleasant autobiographical album by Ringo Starr last year which bore the same title.

None of that actually matters, however. What I really wanted to tell you was that three days ago I was listening to an old tape-to-mp3-rip of a John Peel show when I heard for the first time an old song by a guy I'd never heard of named Mike Hart. It might have been the most beautiful song I've ever heard. It was called "Almost Liverpool 8," and as it happened John Peel actually produced it himself back in 1969.
posted by koeselitz at 5:37 AM on October 30, 2009


Everyone I've talked to agreed it would be totally cool if the hole was stationary and the building rotated around it. FAIL.
posted by digsrus at 5:37 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's on the album Mike Hart Bleeds – awful title, great record – if anybody's interested.
posted by koeselitz at 5:40 AM on October 30, 2009


digsrus: Everyone I've talked to agreed it would be totally cool if the hole was stationary and the building rotated around it. FAIL.

How do you know that it doesn't?
posted by koeselitz at 5:40 AM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


This piece was built in Liverpool in '08.

Commissioned in 06, installed in June 07, right? (the cake video I linked to earlier includes an interview with the artist).
posted by effbot at 5:47 AM on October 30, 2009


darksasami: daveyt, how many fricatives are there in "ziz"? That's right, two. How many letters S does it take to form them? That's right, two. Yates's is the only correct usage.

There is only one very soft fricative. It's pronounc't yayts. It's always pronounc't yayts, whether it's plural, possessive, singular, married, divorced, William Butler, or whatever. When you say "Yates'," people can just figure out from the context whether you're using it in a possessive or plural sort of way or not. ZIZ sounds awful, and multiplying fricatives is probably the ugliest thing you can do to a word.

Of course, I made all of that up, with some help from my English teacher (who taught me always to drop the final 's' in pluralized or possessive names) but I've talked to plenty of people who seem to do it the same way as I do.
posted by koeselitz at 5:53 AM on October 30, 2009


effbot: Commissioned in 06, installed in June 07, right? (the cake video I linked to earlier includes an interview with the artist).

Well there's no bloody Liverpool 7, now is there? Blimey.
posted by koeselitz at 5:53 AM on October 30, 2009


digsrus: Everyone I've talked to agreed it would be totally cool if the hole was stationary and the building rotated around it. FAIL.

How do you know that it doesn't?


By testing for local fictitious forces.
posted by DU at 5:57 AM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ficticious's fricative forces. Ziz.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:59 AM on October 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


patricio: Lots of other good stuff on that blog too - I like the balls in the car park

INVISIBL BASKETBOL PLAYERZ
posted by koeselitz at 6:04 AM on October 30, 2009


Wow watching this took my breath away.
posted by merocet at 6:05 AM on October 30, 2009


I've got drunk in the Yates Wine Lodge below that hole on numerous occasions.
Was going to crack the joke that I bet it's not the first time someone's seen a Yate's Wine Lodge spinning.
posted by Abiezer at 6:07 AM on October 30, 2009


It is certainly really cool, but I can't help but wish that it were a lot quieter. Especially if they managed to make it look flush and un-cut while closed to the casual glance, it'd be really cool to just occasionally silently rotate part of the building out. With all the noise, you're not going to surprise anyone.
posted by explosion at 6:09 AM on October 30, 2009


With all the noise, you're not going to surprise anyone.

That's pretty much the way I've been feeling about most noise music these days...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:12 AM on October 30, 2009


This is an amazing accomplishment. It should be said though that there is a significant precedent in the earlier work of Gordon Matta-Clark in the seventies - he was cutting huge circles and slices into old buildings back then.
posted by Flashman at 6:15 AM on October 30, 2009


That's...odd.
posted by slogger at 6:23 AM on October 30, 2009


On preview, Flashman, you beat me too it but I'll post my Matta-Clark links anyway.

Gordon Matta-Clark (June 22, 1943 – August 27, 1978)
posted by R. Mutt at 6:26 AM on October 30, 2009


It rotates in three dimensions, but only on one (offset) axis. It doesn't move left to right, it doesn't move up and down, it just moves in and out because of the offset.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:42 AM on October 30, 2009


I'm not going to look at the pictures until the matter of axes and degrees of freedom is conclusively resolved.
posted by brain_drain at 6:50 AM on October 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Only in Liverpool could a piece of public art look like someone's tried to nick the hubcap off a building.

/ducks
posted by MuffinMan at 6:51 AM on October 30, 2009 [9 favorites]


I don't belieeeve it...
posted by DanCall at 6:57 AM on October 30, 2009


It rotates in three dimensions

Hmmm. Not really. The top and bottom of the piece seem to move in and out relative to each other, but they don't actually move along the axis (the only third dimension available) at any stage. The thing rotates in two dimensions, but is offset to the plane of the building face.

It looks cooler because it is offset, but an offset does not produce a third dimension of rotation.
posted by Brockles at 6:57 AM on October 30, 2009


The balls in the car park link from patricio's posting led me to Pascual Sisto's home page. Lots of cool stuff.
posted by Killick at 6:57 AM on October 30, 2009


digsrus: Everyone I've talked to agreed it would be totally cool if the hole was stationary and the building rotated around it. FAIL.

How do you know that it doesn't?


Because, silly, for that to happen there would have to be holes on top of holes all the way down.
posted by digsrus at 7:06 AM on October 30, 2009


Amazing. Wh...wh..why are people walking past?! Or are they just getting out of shot? I expected to hear people shouting in amazement.

I thought the same thing - but then i figured they're probably neighborhood folk who have seen this every day now for awhile.


This is pretty much it! A couple of years ago I passed by this every week to go hang out in a practice studio with a friend's band, and yes, the first few times I'd stop just to make sure I saw that right, and to watch it rotate? But eventually I'd just walk past it.

That said, I went that way with my mum recently, and I'd gotten so used to it being there that when she stopped me with an: "Oh my god look at that!" It took me a minute to realize what she was looking at!
posted by emperor.seamus at 7:13 AM on October 30, 2009


It rotates in three dimensions..

It *exists* in three dimensions. It is rotating on one axis.
posted by DU at 7:20 AM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is the coolest thing posted on MeFi, ever.

No it isn't.
posted by The Bellman at 7:29 AM on October 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


If I was a man eating giant (and I am, really) I would see this as some kind of Tic-Tac dispenser.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:31 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


So really what this thread proves is that the work of art is that a rotating building piece inspires endless correcting, grammar-tutting, and physics arguments.

Bravo!
posted by jscott at 7:34 AM on October 30, 2009


Haven't we all, at one time or another, wanted to carve an enormous circle into an industrial building facade and have it rotate in three dimensions?

Well, I didn't before, but now...

*grabs angle grinder*

Man, my boss is going to love the new artistic feature I'm going to put in his office when he gets back next week...
posted by quin at 7:45 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


koeselitz: "When you say "Yates'," people can just figure out from the context whether you're using it in a possessive or plural sort of way or not. ZIZ sounds awful, and multiplying fricatives is probably the ugliest thing you can do to a word."

people, we have been over this. the only wrong thing to do is to tell someone else they can't say it or spell it the way they usually do. language is mutable, etc... whatever rules you learned in highschool, there's a reason why every one of them can ultimately be bent in the way you hate the most.

I mean, jesus, has languagehat taught you nothing?!
posted by shmegegge at 7:57 AM on October 30, 2009


I can solve the grammatical problems about how to write and pronounce Yates's/Yates' very simply.

Shut them all down. Replace them with a pub with an easy-to-write name and where it isn't compulsory to glass the guy next to you once the bell rings for last orders.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:08 AM on October 30, 2009


Well, DU, like, your face.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:10 AM on October 30, 2009


I don't get why anyone in the world would devote so much time to a project like this when they could be playing video games.
posted by jeremy b at 8:22 AM on October 30, 2009


Yates's is the possessive of a single Yates. Yates' is the possessive of plural "Yate"s. If you want to get fancy, you could have multiple members of the Yates family owning, and you'd have "Yateses's."

Regardless, it'll inevitably be pronounced "the bar" or "the pub" by locals.
posted by explosion at 8:36 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


They don't allow you to have bees in there.
posted by clockzero at 8:43 AM on October 30, 2009


OK, I'm no science geek, but isn't there an axis formed by the hydraulic arm connecting point and the fulcrum-point where the main arm connects? Doesn't that create a second, perpendicular axis to the one holding the thing up? And doesn't it just make sense that if it starts flush with the building and then comes angling off of it, we're talking another axis here?
posted by gorgor_balabala at 8:52 AM on October 30, 2009


So this building facade...it rotates?
posted by mosk at 8:58 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


OK, I'm no science geek, but isn't there an axis formed by the hydraulic arm connecting point and the fulcrum-point where the main arm connects? Doesn't that create a second, perpendicular axis to the one holding the thing up? And doesn't it just make sense that if it starts flush with the building and then comes angling off of it, we're talking another axis here?

That's what SHE said.
posted by jeremy b at 9:22 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


How much clearance do you think it has? From the one video where you see it align behind the artist during an interview it seem like it's probably 10 cm or less. Pretty impressive tolerance.
posted by GuyZero at 9:29 AM on October 30, 2009


I posted this as a SLYT link a couple of years ago on Metafilter...a view of the same piece, filmed a little less expertly, so that it appears a little more magical, IMO.
posted by kozad at 9:37 AM on October 30, 2009


I posted this as a SLYT link a couple of years ago on Metafilter

I knew it! I've been noticing things being posted to blogs all over the web that are a couple years old, but everyone acts as if they're brand new! Have I been on the internet for too long?
posted by Dr. Send at 9:51 AM on October 30, 2009


> There is only one very soft fricative. It's pronounc't yayts. It's always pronounc't yayts, whether it's plural, possessive...

Wrong.

> Yates's is the possessive of a single Yates. Yates' is the possessive of plural "Yate"s.

Right.

Also: great post!
posted by languagehat at 9:55 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Please link to a video of someone doing this to their cubicle wall. Or the popup lego temple thing to their entire cubicle. Either will do, really.
posted by davejay at 10:10 AM on October 30, 2009


I thought somebody had, kozad. And R.mutt - sorry about that. Your links are much better. I was rushing off to work.
posted by Flashman at 10:10 AM on October 30, 2009


And doesn't it just make sense that if it starts flush with the building and then comes angling off of it, we're talking another axis here?

Not at all. The pivot is angled precisely to produce that effect.

OK, I'm no science geek, but isn't there an axis formed by the hydraulic arm connecting point and the fulcrum-point where the main arm connects?

I see no hydraulic arm, just several steel strut supports mounted to the single, axially rotating, connecting point. It is just a disc on a rotating bar, just like a bicycle wheel, but with out the pivot being perpendicular to the face of the disc.

Producing a complicated looking motion does not necessarily require a complicated system.
posted by Brockles at 10:22 AM on October 30, 2009


but the bar underneath is signed "Yates's Wine Lodge". *Grammar shudder*.

Actually, this now considered (according to Turabian and Chicago Manual, anyway) the correct way to pluralize all names, regardless of whether or not they end in 's'. As someone whose last name ends with an 's', this bothers me greatly. It is inelegant and makes for awkward pronunciation. But it is now considered correct.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:28 AM on October 30, 2009


What an interesting idea. I don't think I'd ever personally do it myself because it seems like it must have cost a fortune-but hey, if you have the time, money and energy to create this sort of art, I guess that's your prerogative.
posted by tobe at 10:35 AM on October 30, 2009


This thing is like a bat-signal for errant katamari.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:16 AM on October 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who thinks that building is kinda handsome at that it's a shame it can no longer be used as a building? I am? I'll show myself out.
posted by maxwelton at 1:57 PM on October 30, 2009


Upon further review of the photo, anyone attempting to pick on "Yates's" should instead consider picking on the fact that it appears to be a "Wine Lodg."
posted by darksasami at 4:03 PM on October 30, 2009


shmegegge: people, we have been over this. the only wrong thing to do is to tell someone else they can't say it or spell it the way they usually do.

Yeah, I know. It was sarcasm. That infamous, not-working-on-the-internet sarcasm; I guess I'd hoped that following up the bit you quoted with "of course, I just made all of that up" would indicate that, but I wasn't really clear. Sorry to anybody who thinks I was actually telling them how to spell; I wouldn't presume to do such a thing, honest. I think the fact that I am so often an actual dick made my trying to be an ironic dick sort of fail miserably.

Anyway, yeah; my derivation and justification was ridiculous. At least it was meant to seem ridiculous.

posted by koeselitz at 4:04 PM on October 30, 2009


languagehat: Wrong.

Hey, wait a minute! I was joking – and even if I weren't, how is the inane pronouncement of strict linguistic usage I gave any worse than the one I was responding to, which stated unequivocally:

darksasami: daveyt, how many fricatives are there in "ziz"? That's right, two. How many letters S does it take to form them? That's right, two. Yates's is the only correct usage.

Like I said, I'm really just making up the rules I follow as I go along. I don't expect anybody else to actually follow them.
posted by koeselitz at 4:09 PM on October 30, 2009


DU is right, in all his posts above, in saying it's single axis rotation. Enough already. The rest of you obviously don't really know what you're talking about so shaddap.

I saw an incredible documentary on Gordon Matta-Clark years ago. Someone needs to go dig that up on Youtube. Oh, it's easier than I thought.
posted by intermod at 10:05 PM on October 30, 2009


That would not be easy to do.
posted by nola at 10:40 PM on October 30, 2009


> Hey, wait a minute! I was joking

Ah, well, sorry then. Once again we discover how difficult it is to make straight-faced humor work in a text-only medium.
posted by languagehat at 10:02 AM on October 31, 2009


It's not difficult at all IMO. HAMBURGER
posted by ericost at 11:13 AM on October 31, 2009


« Older Animal Grief   |   Dear Catherine, Hello, how are you? Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post