OpenRoad Driver Volume 15 Issue 1 - Page 94

94 » OpenRoad Driver Toaster Work Wagon, 1997 Photo by Mike Lalich AUTO LAMP T O A S T E R W O R K WA G O N 1985 Dodge Ram 6’6” x 7’9” x 16’ - 2008 Volkswagen van, car parts, bi-directional bicycles, seats, trailer 11’ x 8’ x 7’ - 1997 Tell me about the process and all the holes in Auto Lamp. I think you described it as heavenly, and we see a vehicle in a different light, so to speak. Toaster is an iconic work. Tell us something unexpected about it. KA: Quite a few years ago in 1983 there was a friend of mine who lives in LA. He was drilling holes in something like these old-style microphones. They looked like medicine pill gels. He drilled a lot of holes and it triggered something in me. I came home and just started drilling holes in everything like 1/24 scale trucks and panel vans. I got smaller and smaller drill bits and got more precise with bits from Silicon Valley used for drilling boards to get tinier and tinier, and then I put a light in it and it just jumped out. That’s the first time a model went from small scale right to large scale. Usually the transformation is more playful than that. Drilling holes in a van is a lot more physical trying to make the van lighter and lighter and lighter, and working around its bones. My first one was a 1970 Tradesman van. I could drill a lot of holes in it and not have a lot of skeleton. I ended up working with these Japanese Champion drill bits and things became more precise. In Auto Lamp we’re going down to quarter-inch holes. There’s got to be at least 50,000 holes. The more, the better and lighter once the lights are on. I think it’s heavenly. KA: I did a piece called Cracker Box. It was a garage for the Toaster Work Wagon. We would put the piece inside at night after we had interacted during the day, and we would park it. It was an abstract structure in itself, but I couldn’t stop it from leaking. It was one of those things where I’m not an architect. I tried to solve it, but no matter what we did, it still would leak. I’m glad I’m an artist. And then I buy this brand new townhouse and guess what it does? It leaks! (laughing) That’s the difference between an artist and an architect. They have to stop the leaks!