The Gift Machine and Toaster Work Wagon are street works and, at the best of times, wander past the leash of art. Mobile and on wheels, they are made to temporally squat in other territories -- blending in on the beach, working the crowd in front of a Planet Hollywood or public park, even humouring permanent projectile sculptures. They work as art, but they don't need the name. Made to attract, to fuel curiosity, the Gift Machine celebrates festivity and excess with its array of colours, umbrellas, motor-scooters and loaded bags (storage for an unlimited supply of fluorescent coloured tennis balls and freezer bags). "This is the Gift Machine; do you want to see how it works?". Usually curiosity persists, and if the air is right, myself or an attendant carefully place a tennis-ball on a stick into a freezer bag, close the bag and pass the newly-wrapped gift over the counter made of ironing-boards. That is how it works!

Toaster Work Wagon shares the two-headed condition -- in operation no-one knows whether it's coming or going, and where it will show up next. In part, its purpose is to confound. With its two hinged car hoods and 1960s VW bus ends welded together like a winged toaster or mechanical bird, its cues are geared to the '60s generation about town with or without kids. Opening into a temporary work station, the wagon's load of small, two-headed bicycles (joined at the rear wheel to make an Every-Which-Way) attracts a crowd of bystanders with children performing the main action (for which the Wagon becomes a cue). In a game of precarious co-operation, they decide, on the move, who leads and who follows, and which way to go. During the performance, when enthusiasm carries the moment, we sometimes make an unannounced gift of the just tested two-headed bike. That is how the Work Wagon works. In both works, the event is the exchange: the doubt and wonder, the surprise and belief, and the trails left or erased when the gift is taken away.

Kim Adams, August 1998


resume of the artist


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