Exhibit @ SRG Partnership Gallery, Dec.2013-Jan.2014, Seattle, WA
cycle-series continua :: seven sauer
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Cycle-Series continua by Steve (Seven) Sauer is a set of referential, reverential, and narrative sculptures, composed from bicycle parts and afflatus which echo ideas from a diverse selection of influences to express anguish, pay homage, focus (or diffuse) opinion, and to simply explore. Steve is a multidisciplinary engineer, designer, and builder with scores of interests, including enduring enthusiasm for bicycles. This series follows and adds to a Cycle-Series origin collection from 2010-2012.
Show Title [not present]
Show Title features a spring-cushioned seat from an old, light-green English 3-Speed, mounted on the rolling base of a medical IV stand to form the title sign for the earlier Cycle-Series origin exhibit. OIXIO is a registered business name that I’ve used since 1995 as a collector for creative projects. OIXIO, a bi-axially symmetric palindrome, also functions as an alter-ego moniker for my creative/artistic side. Also, I sometimes (un)identify myself as "Seven Sauer". A dropped "t" sets it apart from my legal name and gives me a less trodden set of letters to link to my art works. There, that should create sufficient identity confusion:
Steve (Seven) Sauer : 7S : OIXIO !
Don’t Stop features bicycle brake blocks arranged in a twenty-five element square array (a recurrent theme in my OIXIO graphics). Two of the blocks are in contact with each other, representing a loving human relationship in a field of singles. A wish is inferred to keep that bond whole and not to stop, though the context is suggestive in opposition. One brake block serves as a handle to lower the "DON’T STOP" tag from behind the aluminum plate, as an interactive element inviting touch. The cable from which the plate hangs passes over a brake-yoke in a way common for bicycle center-pull brakes. (This is the piece that initiated Cycle-Series.)
Bully Up is an update to an arrangement of a bicycle seat and handlebars made famous by Pablo Picasso. Picasso’s version features an old, weathered leather seat, and steel handlebars with integrated stem, and then transformed as a bronze casting. Looking at Picasso’s composition never gets old for me. My variation puts some gleam in it by using new longhorn-style aluminum handlebars, a modified aluminum alloy stem and other bits, and a new, second-generation rendition in white plastic of a classic - the Cinelli Unicanitor seat.
A'trophy is another manifestation of the seat and handlebars bull skull. This one is comprised of some rather time-worn parts that Nature has been working on with some oxidation tricks. A Brooks B5ST leather seat with ample surface cracking and underside leather disintegration is combined with some fairly rusty chromed-steel handlebars from a good old English 3-speed. An alloy stem, steel seat clamp, aluminum tube, wooden block, and aluminum back plate completes the arrangement. These bike parts are ready to live out their remaining time on a wall, after long years of service and some follow-on neglect. We can't escape it, so why not celebrate it: A trophy to atrophy!
Ferdinand is yet another seat and handlebar bull skull. This one has shiny chromed-steel bars and an Italian pink plastic seat. An alloy stem, steel seat-clamp, alloy shifter clamp, and aluminum plate make it ready to hang. This bull should keep things bright and gay. No fighting! Just smell the flowers. (Jack helped me to give this one a better name!)
Artifact Fiction is a simple composition of the pretty, shiny parts that might front a racing bicycle in the early 1980s: A chrome fork, Campagnolo (Tipo) front hub, chromed-steel headset with aluminum headtube, and a Cinelli stem. As atypical quirk, a quick-release skewer from a hub secures the stem to the steering tube. No intended deeper meaning here, but I welcome you to assign some if you like.
Handleblades is a manifestation of chef and paring knives as handlebars/grips and brake levers. With an integrated stem mounted on a fork, there is allusion to a potentially dangerous arrangement, perhaps as indicated by the ’blood’ spatter on the aluminum fork blades. Inspiration came from a reading of "Blood Secrets" by Rod Englert and two seasons of "Dexter" episodes, and the sensual shape and material nature of common cutlery. The fork comes from a 1970s Viscount Aerospace - a bike that found infamy for human injuries associated with the catastrophic failure of their cast-aluminum "death forks". The stainless steel stem is set well above the limit line (ever so hazardous), and there is a telling skeletal ring higher up the stem quill. A skewer marked "Lambert" (a name associated with the Viscount Aerospace lineage) secures the fork to an aluminum block base via a pseudo-hub assembly.
Field Repair is the result of a vintage bike part purchase done without due diligence. I didn’t notice the broken front plate on a 1980’s Campagnolo Super Record rear derailleur until after I had placed my Internet auction bid. When it arrived in the mail, it required some sort of repair… Perhaps this repair was done ’in the field’ with available materials, resulting in a pleasing farcical composition of exotic, lightweight, racing-bike part kluged back to service with a slice from a rusty railroad spike and two rusty nails.
Renew is a composition of three leather bicycle seats atop shiny Campagnolo seat posts that extend through a block of hard maple to be joined in synchronized drive via a chain and cogs. A worn seat (Henri Gauthier, France), and less worn seat (Belt, Japan), and a newer seat (Brooks, England) are in line, but the line can reverse for a renewal, a cheating of aging, or the re-establishment of lost physical fitness. 17-tooth cogs of laser-cut stainless steel made specifically for this piece support an interlinking bicycle-chain drive.
Lancelot is a figure comprised of a road-bike fork, the hanger from a rolling I.V.-rack, seat-stays from an English 3-speed frame, a corrupted headset arrangement, a Presta valve stem and cap, a slot-head screw, and wire nuts. This piece addresses drug use in Le Tour de France; an issue that really flared up in 2009 (and then even more-so in following years), and behavior that has always been part of the race in some form. The yellow-capped penis indicates testing of urine from racers, and the IV ’shoulders’ speak of blood testing and doping and intravenous drug injection. The red ’hands’ are about getting caught. The headset has slipped to a low position of shame and is adorned with a bad-ass mohawk-man charm. There’s a rump on the back formed by a slotted screw. The title of the piece references my favorite TDF winner*, and the knightly status and extreme actions and expectations of the riders. An aluminum block base with vague graphical relics and an Ofmega (’false’ Campy) skewer and pseudo-hub arrangement completes the piece.
Lunched is a composition of a bicycle handlebar and stem set-up, with peculiar brake levers and unusual Campagnolo grips, combined with an aluminum lunch box, some contents, and a lighted ’trophy’. In my early years in the bike-shop, we used the word "lunched" to refer to something damaged − a crashed and badly mangled bike, for instance. The banana and single walnut speak of loss in the area of concern for Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG foundation (hence the yellow bands) and the trophy is my personal, empathetic, glowing award to the cause.
Profound Object celebrates one of the world’s most glamorous professional road-racing bicycles via a seat-tube salvaged from the Cinelli bike that I rode and raced for many miles. Some Cinelli frames had a weakness of design whereby the brazed joint between the seat tube and the bottom bracket shell would fail, as mine did. A frame-builder friend replaced the tube in my frame, making the original tube a separate object of remembrance. So, with a crashed and bent, and then cut Campagnolo drive-side crank arm, and some other parts, a wall lamp has emerged. It is fitted with a color-changing LED bulb, that I assure you is trying to display World Championship colors.
Key Grip is an illustrious set of handlebars with integrated rod brake levers from a Raleigh DL-1 Tourist 3-speed bike, mounted on a base of black composite board. The levers trigger a printer-head mechanism that operates a View-Master projector loaded with slides of a bike-racing Eddy Merckx, still the reigning king of bicycle racing.
Gloves exposes classic Campagnolo aluminum gear shift-lever fingers through cutouts in a woman’s gloves. While the word "gloves" thinly cloaks "love", the cutouts expose the bony fingertips of love lost and sorely missed. With a plaid-skirt backdrop of patterned red, the composition echoes an excerpt from a Picasso painting (Femme assise devant la fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse), 1937) that affected me at the Seattle SAM exhibit of pieces from Paris. On a trip to Paris in 2010, I encountered the ’hey-look-I-found-a-golden-ring’ Gypsy scam in the Jardin des Tuileries; I included it to adorn the ring finger (it cost all the coins in my pocket).
Sex Here is a simple compilation of a shiny-new, ‘80s vintage Campagnolo Victory rear derailleur, cradled in white and blue silk panties, in a delicate round wooden box. I can’t speak for you, but I’ve thought vintage Italian bike parts and aspects of the activity and culture that surrounds them to be just downright sexy, especially in the years of my relative youth in the 1980s.
Duchamp Edison is a re-visioning of Marcel Duchamp’s famous "readymade" composition of bicycle wheel, fork, and wooden stool. With a rusting old British Sturmey-Archer Dynohub wheel, I’ve included homage to Thomas Edison with my homage to Monsieur Duchamp by illuminating a common Edison-style light bulb via the generated electrical output from the hub. A found industrial stool, a Raleigh bike frame fork – straightened, and a few other bits form my new, but not unfamiliar composition. A red reflector under the stool indicates reflection on things that have gone before. I celebrate the beauty of form in the everyday light bulb as it is being widely vilified for being a poor converter of electricity into light.
Warholic is a tribute to Andy Warhol. It depicts a Warhol movie camera (Bolex H16 w/ Berthiot zoom) integrating Andy and his eclectic collections of NYC beauties. The rotating camera captures the full scene, collecting the visual candy towards mutual fame, but with shrewd focus on the one with the least screen time, Andy. An iPhone-4 runs a looped retro-video as a stand-in for Mr. Warhol, and a little ’factory’ (comprised of motor parts I’ve had since childhood) drives the camera’s turn via a bike chain and cogs. The aluminum backplate and parts reference the aluminum-foil wrap and silver paint at Warhol’s "Silver Factory" at 231 East Forty-seventh. A red bicycle fork signifies ruby red lips, and a faux ’banana’ rides in the pump pegs of a partial vintage three-speed English bicycle frame. Blue paint on the seat tube rounds out a trio of primary colors. Then, so as to make sure this odd compilation has ready Warhol-identity, a double-soup-can-like weight hangs on a cable to tension the chain drive. The cable also serves as a bullet-trace, strung with a brass casing and turned-aluminum bullet to represent the .32 slug that pierced Andy’s torso and four organs, and that so nearly killed him (on my 5th birthday, 1968). Mysterious stamped letters and numbers adorn the aluminum back plate. Andy: "People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen in life that’s unreal."* Edie!
Baphomet is a handlebar-seat ram’s head, perched over an inverted blue-painted iron star. The seat came from a nice rusty 1960's all-Italian Legnano road bike, rescued with a 20 dollar bill just after it was flung into a giant dumpster at a Seattle bike shop. I resurrected the seat for Baphomet by removing green mold patina from the leather, and replacing rusted steel rivets with aluminum pop-rivets. Joined cuttings of two ends of some mangled handlebars form some nice horns, and a cast aluminum part from an English kickstand, some machined aluminum parts, and standard hardware complete this piece. Seems like a friendly enough occult hero.
Saxofork starts with jazz sax hepcats of the 1930s [1939, Cab Calloway, Hepster’s Dictionary, hep cat: "A guy who knows all the answers, understands jive"]. A SAVOY (HOLLAND) bicycle headbadge calls to points across saxophone-honking time and space. There’s the Savoy Hotel in London, Savoy Records in Newark, The Savoy Ballroom in NYC, The Savoy Ballroom in Chicago, and surely there have been saxo-shenanigans somewhere in Savoy, France. (But hell, I don’t know anything about jazz – I looked all this up on Wikipedia – but I did once upon some time play the tenor sax). A nickeled-brass bass-clarinet bell, some metal scraps, a new Chinese alto-sax neck, and an old Parisian Selmer silver mouthpiece are carried on blue-painted aluminum bike-fork ’legs’. Steel ball chains hang to hold things together, and to suggest finger keys, and an aluminum block base supports aluminum ’shoes’ to support the fork, clamped by an old French Simplex skewer. Is that a legal weed bag hanging from the bell?! Cool, man, cool.
Aluminati began as an all-aluminum bike project and evolved into a conspiratorial 35mm film viewer for an old and perhaps arbitrary reel of "Ed Sullivan in Moscow". A rare Peugeot Comete aluminum bicycle frame (sans decals) is fitted with a variety of bike parts per a primary quest for maximum aluminum, and a secondary quest for French parts (though parts from Japan, Italy, Spain are involved). Aluminum bike seats aren’t readily available, so the one here is OIXIO-hewn by axe/grinder/file from a sheet of 1/8" aluminum, and mounted on titanium rails. 24" aluminum 35mm-film reels (by General Devices & Eng. Co., Hollywood, California) are modified as quick-release bike wheels, the rear having a six-speed freewheel. Film threads through an OIXIO-hack-machined viewer head and over five film guides from front to rear wheels, and motion is powered via the Stronglite 93 cranks [Is that an inverted pentagram?]. A solar-recharged battery that is concealed by a reverent plate powers the viewer LED light. If there is truly an Illuminati operating in the world today, this Aluminati [Alizon] Device will surely flush it out. Look!
Ghost-Ex is a Duchampian bike-wheel-on-a-fork composition with a Sturmey Archer Dynohub generator and fade-throbbing heart light, mounted on a chromed-steel fork on a cast iron microphone-stand base. In the manner of "ghost bikes" set up as markers where cyclists were killed, it is overpainted in flat white. Soul Gone. Be careful out there!
Iron Horse is a simple celebration of some groovy old American steel bicycle handlebars. Mounted on a cylinder of stainless steel with a chromed-steel pole, there’s a real nice horsey.
Think of England (*)
Think of England is a compilation of an uncovered Brooks seat frame from a 1969 Raleigh Sports (Marshall Field’s edition) 3-speed bike, a chromoly tube, the chromed shell from a Sturmey-Archer Dynohub, and a red glass heart. This piece came about spontaneously when parts lying around on the same table happened to fit perfectly together. The seat frame and seatpost clamp are marked "MADE IN ENGLAND", and "ENGLAND" is stamped proudly into the hub shell. There’s a little LED flashlight that fits into the bottom of the tube to illuminate the heart for a while, and a cage of ball-bearings and dustcap from the hubshell hangs by a ball-chain from the back of the seat. A signature disk of wood, wrapped in an OIXIO wristband, hides underneath the hubshell, and Think of England goes off to a rightful home in Seattle at the turn of the years (12/13). So, just sit back and T.O.E., :D.
I’mperfect Vahz [*, not present]
I’mperfect Vahz is a bike-part composition based on an old bicycle fork with chipped ’prison wall paint’ and interesting cast dropouts and crown. A base of a thick round slug of aluminum, a hand-worked aluminum bracket, a brass ’hub’, and an old French Simplex quick-release skewer support the fork in an upright position. A pyrex test tube atop the arrangement in the steering tube makes it a vase. An old iron and brass plumb-bob (marked "foreign") hangs on a stainless spoke from the fork crown center, and aims for a target at the center of the base. I’mperfect Vahz promises a precise vertical orientation via the plumb-bob and alignment target, and the quick-release skewer to lock in the exact alignment position. The parts are carefully machined and hand-worked out of high-quality metals, and the whole is over-designed structurally, ensuring complete security for the precious payload, a delicate flower and the vial of water to preserve it for a while. However, it isn’t really that easy to realize the promise of adjustment precision, and one might very well quit in frustration at the attempt. Still, this contraption is full of usefulness, intrigue, and will never really let anyone down. It can truly boast "I’m perfect!", even through some perhaps-troubling imperfections. I’ve sent I’mperfect Vahz, in the plywood transport crate, off to live in New York. OIXIOXOS&R!
Stay Pink [*, not present]
Stay Pink is simply an unused rare and exotic pink plastic Italian Ofmega rear derailleur, mounted on an isolated dropout and chromoly seat stay from an American-made road bike frame. Two brake yokes and a keyring cable loop secure it to the wall from the half brake bridge. Stay Pink speaks of longevity and preservation, maintenance and modernity. The shiny black paint tries to fade out near the dropout and there’s a touch of rust on the chrome bolt, but decline is held in check by the flash of pink renewal. Hmmm, somehow, it has my initials embossed atop the seat stay cap. Boxed over cowhide with an Ai Weiwei ceramic sunflower seed, two embedded OIXIO wooden nickel*s, ready for travel to NYC, April 2013. (*50). OIXIOXOM&T!
Please see www.oixio.com for additional information including contact information.
Steve Sauer grew up in Boulder, Colorado and rode a bike most days from the age of five or so. He began working as a bike assembler in the mid 1970’s, and continued in the summers for the next 9 years, over which he assembled some ten thousand bikes. He rode through the winters to school, on the mountain trails (in the pre-mountain-bike era), trained and raced, and toured a little. Steve has continued to ride, build, collect, and experiment with bicycles.
Steve has a Mechanical Engineering degree, and an MA in Whole Systems Design focused on creative design process, and works professionally on integration of commercial airplane interior features and systems.
Other outside projects include design/build of pico-dwelling, a small urban dwelling prototype on Lower Queen Anne, Seattle.
Thank you for spending some time here!
Steve (Seven) Sauer ⚜ 7S ⚜ OIXIO ⚜ © 1995-2014