Op Shops as sites of material archive

My experience of materials is one of incredible abundance, its a product of colonisation and privilege; from the opulence on the street side pickup to the opshop burdened with the commodification of said objects the curated culture of waste is well documented Despite this tangled history we need to stay with the trouble if we are to hinder the putrification of this abundance. putrification is the antithesis of composting; a compost heap is a, period where, life can erupt in the process of death, in putrefaction life monocultures and produces toxicity and objects break down in irreconcilable ways. All things and compostable its about how and who they like to break down into and most importantly the life they are eiven as they transform into another.

The Generator

The simple generator is something with magnetic force moving past an electromagnet, I imagine it as the electromagnet lurching its magnetic fields to become magnetic as the magnetic force moves past it and if you harness that flux you will get AC electricity.

The electromagnet and the magnets we need are found in most microwaves.

(make sure the microwave isn’t plugged in, wear proper safety equipment rubber gloves, rubber shoes, dismantle these parts, it can be good to let it rest and fully discharge the capacitors if its been used recently).

Carefully unscrew each screw on the side where the electronics are kept (usually the heavy side).

Bend open the metal covering.

Carefully cut any necessary wires.
Bend open the metal covering.

Carefully cut any necessary wires.
Unscrew the magnetron and the electromagnet

Preparing the electro magnet
Carefully cut the weld lines with a hacksaw.

You should have an E Shape.
Take out both rolls of copper wire.
Replace one with a bit of extra electrical tape so that its insulated
From the steel E shape.

Composting microwaves into turbines.

            Decomposing metabolisms lurch out a small sapling. It wiggles up, stretching with the wind and feeling each shift of season. As one of many meeting maturity,  they cut everyone around them with incredible proficiency. , All at once they’re squished into trucks, moving to mills and factories stripped of their skin, bathed in preserve and painted green. They make a line aside the tarmac dug into the ground, electricity hung above them moving like honey along the steel lines that connect them.

How do we care for our Infrastructure, the objects we cherish and utilise, for the luxuries and essential ways we inhabit this land? What does a culture of repair look like? What are the boundaries of care, of a landlessness, an intense ubiquity and obsolescence?
Can we generate answers that provocate, that are adaptive experiments, evoked in the everyday care we perform?

Maybe we start with a kind of ‘fundamental’ technology. It’s a fraught task;‘fundamentality’ is subjective and finding the roots of technology can take us far from our needs that we find ourselves tangled in a kind of hegemenic naturalism, or at least I did.
So I began with electricity, a very high quality form of energy, something pretty inapplicable in many situations.  It does however resemble the energy of most tools we require to care, repair and recycle.

Wind turbines are going to be our focus. It will form a kind of mythic foundation to a practice of sovereignty that intersects with contemporary art making. This mythic foundation can care for/build worlds and communities within current infrastructure.

A Magnet Wheel

Ideally you harvest magnets from a magnetron like this

Making a magnet wheel is pretty simple; get a bicycle wheel, or piece of wood, or whatever circular thing works, then attach magnets on the outside facing North to South so that the magnetic fields push against each other.
See Robert Murry Smith do it here.

So the opshop becomes an archive, a repository for the next maker.
Donations are repaired or taken apart, carefully composted with their desired friends to be reused for the next object. The role of the artist in this process looms large; we need to provoke our practice to make a diversity of work: toasters, kilns, bikes, and more. We need to be using our ferocious creative power to make worlds. That means making contemplative and representational work, but also using our skills to repair the objects that make up our daily tasks and earthly journeys.

Catch Wind

For the base and top of the vertical wind turbine I’m going to use some computer chair feet; they’re stable and lightweight.

The blades can be bolted to each side of the computer chair.

Because of their ubiquity, we’re going to make the blades out of plastic.

First I make the convex side of the blade in clay, carefully smoothing its aerodynamism.

My hands create the form, shaping the clay and silicon. There is a deep imperfection to this, but I imagine as I build more and more of these my hands will speak in a complexity beyond that of my head.

Now pour plaster over it to divest the clay.

Then add a thin layer of silicon to the plaster.

I’m using soft plastic as becomes very plastic-y when you melt it. Set the oven to 150°C.
(some important safety information is using heat proof gloves, an activated carbon filter mask, and good ventilation. However if you’re careful and take things slow, the plastic should release anything toxic as long as no burning occurs).

I make little balls of plastic, then connect each one as I go along.

I’ll leave how you put all the pieces togetherto you;it’ll  be different depending on what direction you end up taking. I hope this has been genuinely helpful.
Yours Othy <3

Arc logos, Kudos online, Kudos Shop, Framework, Archive