Chris Burden's Big Wheel  JUN 05 2009

In a piece from 1979 called Big Wheel, artist Chris Burden took a massive 19th century iron flywheel and set it spinning with the rear wheel of a small motorcycle. The flywheel spins for *three hours* on a single charge.

A description of the work from the NY Times:

Several of his larger works present a characteristic blend of purity, violence and monumentality now aimed at demonstrating simple principles of motion or mass in breathtakingly sculptural ways. In "The Big Wheel," Burden uses a motorcycle's rear wheel to set a three-ton iron flywheel, the survivor of a 19th-century factory, into a fast and furious spin that lasts about three hours. The contrast is wonderful: this old, simple Goliath of a wheel, man's first "machine," powered by a modern David -- small, complex and delicate.

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