by Jen Graves
on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 4:14 PM
Last Saturday I was one of four judges for aLIVe—A Low Impact Vehicle Exhibition—at Seward Park. It was the brainchild of Cheryl dos Remedios, who in a recent column I called "a well-placed, well-dressed radical." (This city needs more of those.)
Dos Remedios wants to change the world, but on Saturday she settled for raising a little awareness. The exhibition she organized included all sorts of "vehicle" alternatives.
Nicole Kistler's lovable monster is the opposite of a monster truck: it's a golf cart turned into a hairy garden (rosemary, strawberries, mint, pansies) powered by remote control. She sees it as a companion for a walk through a denuded part of the city—take it anywhere and set up an al fresco lunch next to it.
If We Could Move Forward, In Good Faith, By Our Intentions Alone is Susanna Bluhm's continuous roll of words and images.
The kids of the YMCA Camp Colman (with artist Lucas Spivey) made this ghost truck by covering a 1987 Ford Ranger with 8 layers of white paper that collect pollution as it drives.
Clair Colquitt, a longtime Seattle inventor from central casting (he's wearing the goggles in this image), made Nopsicle Joe using all recycled materials. It's a pedaled buggy, and the best part is that it plays music in response to a silver ball rolling around on top of it (in an adaptation of the Fisher Price toy the Jammin' Draw).
An adorable dad-and-daughter routine involved space travel, and one of my favorite parts of the exhibition was not a sculpture but a social sculpture: the Undriver Licensing Station, where you could pose for your Undriver's License with props (beanie with propellers, Viking helmet, toy bus), promise to find a way to reduce your car use "in a way that works for you," the extremely kindly volunteers said, and receive a feeling of goodwill and free bus passes in return. You can still get unlicensed, here.