Bernal Artist Building Medieval Rube Goldberg Machine in Garage


Sivan, the Jedi waffle-slinger from Suite Foods at 331 Cortland, noticed something rather amazing during a recent stroll through Bernal Heights:

I was walking down Crescent recently and saw an open garage with a very intriguing gigantic wooden sculpture filling up the space. The artist/craftsman, Bernie Lubell, was very friendly and let me take the attached pic. It’s a huge, almost entirely all-wood kinetic sculpture. It’s so big that he was making it in three parts, to be assembled off-site. He said that it’ll be showing in a gallery (I forgot which one) in April. If you take a close look you can see that very few screws were used. It’s primarily held together with wooden pegs.

Some strategic Googlery reveals that Neighbor Bernie’s show opens on April 9, and it will take place at Intersection for the Arts on Mission at 5th. It sounds like it will be epic:

Bernie Lubell’s new large-scale interactive wood installation monitors Intersection for the Arts’ building systems. The installation uses wood computers to slowly get nothing to happen as we work together in surveilling the “nothing that is not there, and the nothing that is.”*  Why Can’t the First Part of the Second Party be the Second Part of the First Party? is adamantly low-tech, consisting of a complex system of gears, cranks, wheels, and pulleys that relies entirely on participant engagement to come to life. The experience is much more than purely visual – it also engages touch, hearing, movement, teamwork, and collaboration. As participants pedal, crank, and play together on the sculptural installation, they become active partners in the construction and understanding of the work, and an essential component of a complex system that participants can see activated as a direct result of their movements. Bernie Lubell states, “My installations frequently require cooperation but they always need manipulation. You must touch them and feel how they work to fully appreciate the experience. It is a question of participation rather than witnessing.” As participants interact with the installation, they will likely tap into a reservoir of tactile knowledge stored in their bodies. Our hope is to reawaken a childlike sense of wonder about how machines work and operate and to reintegrate participants’ bodies in the life of their minds.

PHOTO: Sivan Wilensky

7 thoughts on “Bernal Artist Building Medieval Rube Goldberg Machine in Garage

  1. Hope his fire protection is up to code. Speaking of which, what happened at that gallery that was set on ire for an art installation a few months back? Is it still in operation?

  2. Yep, sent you info on this on 1/14. He was lovely to talk to. I remarked that it looked like a Rube Goldberg machine, and he said, “A Rube Goldberg machine that does nothing.”

  3. Pingback: Bernal Artist Bernie Lubell Unveils Remarkable Wooden Machine That Does Almost Nothing | Bernalwood

  4. Pingback: Friday: Last Call to See Bernal Artist Bernie Lubell’s Beautiful Homemade Airship | Bernalwood

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