Wednesday, July 8, 2015


As part of a large-scale project I am currently working together with a number of Tutti Arts artists to realise a bunch of things for Oz Asia Festival 2015.  In this case I have been working together with James Kurtze on a Sepeda Lampu, or a kind of illuminated pedal car.  There is a bunch of background information relating to Sepeda Lampus in the previous blog post.  James is an artist who has a particular interest in filmmaking and you can check out one of his great works here.  The particular character that we using as the basis for this outcome is a three headed snowman.  The Oz Asia Festival had it's media launch the other night and James' sepeda lampu was featured on stage, with him delivering the festival director, Joseph Mitchell, in a grand entrance on the Playhouse theatre stage.  The following post gives a bit of an overview of the creative process so far.

This is James and I waiting side of stage for the moment where James rode the sepeda lampu across the stage in front of a full house at the Playhouse theatre.

The machine, here, in the last phases of it's development before the launch.  The LED strips are powered by a battery carried on the bike.

A copy of James' concept drawings for the sepeda lampu served as the reference point for translation into a wire form that becomes the frame to fix the LED's to.  I used a board to mark up the drawing first before manipulating the steel rod and holding it in place with some tabs before welding.

Final testing of the mechanics of the bike before committing to finishing.  The wooden frame that creates the elevation for the LED frame work was chosen over steel in order to keep weight down.  The frame also is removable in order to pack the whole lot into the back of a van. It's quite easy to see here that the basics of this sepeda lampu are formed by a pair of factory build bicycles.  Whilst a number of the earlier Indonesian sepeda lampus were handmade, many of the current ones use a factory pedal car, such as a Surrey, as their base.   The Surrey's are quite heavy duty and can handle being ridden every day with a full load and come with a price tag that reflects this.  Our build matches the resources and short-term outcome that we are working with.

It's a little bit tricky to see in this shot with so much going on but I made a heavy weight steel frame and a set of interfaces to clamp all of the bits square before tacking.

Monday, July 6, 2015


This post is a little bit of a background introduction to a current project which is a collaboration with Tutti Arts that will have it's outcome as a component of the 2015 OzAsia Festival.  The project takes a number of cues from Indonesian cycle culture, some of which I have been a fan of for a long time, others of which I have come to only recently come across.  There are three main sub genres of pedal-able machines that I will share with you here.

The primary thing that the project responds to are Sepeda Lampus.  The literal translation is 'Bicycle Lights' and refers to the brightly decorated pedal cars that are found in the Sultan's Palace square of Jogjakarta.   These are available for people to take on short-term hire and ride around the square as entertainment.  They often feature sound systems that blare pop music.

The Sepeda Lampus are also referred to as 'Odong Odong', though I feel this refers more specifically to mobile children's rides.  I find these particularly exciting, especially the form pictured below that is like a miniature ferris wheel, powered by a secondary set of cranks on the machine, where your child is inserted into a small cage before being swung around in glee.  These also appear in a more motorised form!

The final reference in this set is that of Sepeda Tinngi, or 'Bicycle Tall'.  Having been a tall bike enthusiast for quite a while there are a number of things that stand out in the Indonesian subculture. Check out this great clip below that gives an overview of Sepeda Tinngi fans - take particular note of the fixed and backwards fixed tall riding demos!

Further to this radicalness, Sepeda Tinngi have a particular style, typified by oversized, triangulated bars.  Of course, these are best when taken to the extreme!