Ypsilanti’s first annual Kinetic Sculpture Race

race_post_webIn Baltimore, they have something every year called the Kinetic Sculpture Race. People make these wonderful, human-powered, amphibious vehicles and they race them over land and water. The fifteen mile race, which is hosted by my favorite museum, the American Visionary Art Museum, takes almost 8 hours to complete. I’ve never had an opportunity to see one, let alone participate in one, but, judging from the participating vehicles, they’re absolutely incredible events. And, now it looks like Ypsilanti might be following in their footsteps.

On Saturday, July 10, Ypsilanti will host its first kinetic sculpture race. The competition will be held at SPUR Studios, beginning at 6:00 PM, in cooperation with the ever-expanding Shadow Art Fair.

BREAKING NEWS: The Michigan Design Militia, the top-secret, cult-like organization responsible for the planning of the Shadow Art Fair, has announced that they will be bestowing a $200 grand prize upon the team with the vehicle that best demonstrates the spirit of the Shadow Art Fair.

It’s probably worth noting that the idea of the kinetic sculpture race wasn’t originally hatched in Baltimore. According to people I know in Charm City, the first such race was held in California, in 1969. And, just as the good folks from Baltimore borrowed from the good folks of California, so shall we be borrowing from them both… Here’s hoping the tradition takes hold here as well, and that we fully realize our creative potential as a community.

Here are the details on the Ypsi race:

Race requirements:
*** a team name and title, any number of members ***
*** 7 ft. minimum size. [long, tall, or wide] ***
*** human powered [wheels, gears, and multiple humans ok] ***
*** a focus on creative concept and artistic quality ***

2:00 Creations are put on DISPLAY. [patrons are welcome]
3:00 Forest Juziuk and other dj’s begin spinning RECORDS.
6:00: VERSUS time trials to determine placement in final race.
8:00: MAIN EVENT! [race filled w/ fun and surprises]
10:00: track is CLOSED.

So, if you’ve got an idea, form a team and put something together.

Oh, and you don’t have to know where SPUR is. One of our busses will take you there.

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  1. Knox
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    A few communities have bed races too, which are somewhat related.


  2. Ted
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    How about a rolling sculpture of Steve Pierce comforting an elderly white slave? Or a giant ship that says “Receivor” on it?

  3. Mr. Kim
    Posted June 29, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    This could be amazing.

    Does anyone know the route? Are they taking these things into the street?

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