Remember when the Tate Modern first opened and one of the rooms contained a gigantic heap of metal that was constantly dragging itself across the floor only to be pulled back by great clunking chains? We loved that. And now we love the idea of a flying steamroller:
The Flying Steamroller, 1996, is a huge sculpture which consists of a twelve ton steamroller that is attached to a pivoting arm with a counterbalance weight. The steamroller is driven in an enormous circle until its maximum speed is reached. At the same time, a hydraulic piston is activated and pushes up the beam from which the steamroller is suspended, causing the steamroller to lift off the ground. Because of the combined weight of the steamroller and the counterbalance, which is approximately 48 tons, the steamroller, once lifted off the ground, continues to spin, or “fly” for several minutes. As the steamroller nears the end of its circular motion, or when the spinning momentum is exhausted, the hydraulic piston is slowly retracted and the steamroller gently lands.
Basically anything huge and made of metal doing something weird gets our happy on and hell's teeth that sounds like fun. Unfortunately you can't ride it, but it's doing its thing at the Parade Ground in front of Chelsea College of Art & Design, opposite Tate Britain right now until the 15th.
Thanks to Heather for letting us know about it!