Check out the Widowmaker, a pedal-powered marvel that the creators want to bring to Burning Man this year. It just won the Peoples’ Choice Awards at the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby.
A Kinetic Sculpture is a human-powered vehicle that also has an artistic theme. Think of parade floats on bicycles, or mummers on hand crank driven pirate ships, or an alien space ship on 2 welded togther bikes, it’s zombie amish folks, it’s a bar and bar stools on a bike, it’s anything you can dream up. A Kinetic Sculpture Competition is all about fun and ingenuity, making the wackiest, most interesting contraption is the goal- finishing the course or winning is not. Kinetic Sculpture Competitions have been taking place all over the world since 1969 when a California artist named Hobart Brown made some artistic improvements to his son’s tricycle.
The KKSD is not a race, but rather a design competition and parade celebrating human powered transit and art in Kensington. Award Categories include- Best Art, Best Costume, Best Engineering, People’s Choice, Best Breakdown and a special secret judge award. People get to vote for their favorite entry at the event,
Meet The Widowmaker, the massive kinetic sculpture beast that took top bragging rights at Saturday’sKensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Made by Frank’s Kitchens on behalf of Yards Brewing, this high-wheeling, water-squirting, post-apocalyptic pirate ship thingamazoid won the People’s Choice Award. (Our editor was also on the judge’s panel, and a good time was had by all, even Byko, who immediately started interviewing pretty women, like, as soon as he got there. It was for, er, a piece.) For their part, the Frank’s guys say they’re trying to make The Widowmaker’s next stop be at this year’s Burning Man, because of course they are.
Or maybe not…you can see the Widowmaker demonstrate its off-road capabilities at 4:00 into this video:
Note the beer sponsorship from Yards Brewing, which enables this art car to happen.
(story from http://www.philebrity.com/2012/05/21/this-is-the-crazy-mad-max-esque-monstrosity-that-won-the-peoples-choice-award-at-the-kensington-kinetic-sculpture-derby/)
Here’s a report on this year’s event from one of the judges. Widowmaker was the Peoples’ favorite, but not the critics – a typical story. Here’s a Flickr set.