Human Sweat Generator


Interactive public art installation. University Avenue, Toronto Nuit Blanche. Commissioned by Scotiabank Nuit Blanche.

Media: flatbed trailer, 5 bicycles, 5 generators, 10 speakers, 5 mp3 players

Dimensions: 3 m x 4 m x 14.5 m

Photos: Millie Chen, Chris Lee

Imagine a time when the source of cheap energy is exhausted, an end of the great machine age. On the bed of a (tractor) trailer this float contains machines of the future, fundamental and modest in their construction and scope. These machines are dependent on human muscle to produce electricity. The human-generated electricity powered a multitude of devices, lighting systems, sound systems and projection systems. The content of the audio was comprised of 5 soundtracks of emergency warning alerts broadcast as prerecorded onomatopoeic vocalizations. Borrowing from the Theatre of the Absurd, a sensible/nonsensical, but mainly truthful, narrative to disrupt the flow of spectacle was presented. Occasionally, the audio singled out an individual bicyclist: “Number 5! Pedal harder! Pedal harder!”

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