Bicycles Create Change’s Eco T(h)ank Concept for the 2018 Sustainable Living Festival.
Project Bio Bike & the Eco Protection Corps
Next week, I will be down in Melbourne for the Sustainable Living Festival (SLF) – Big Weekend.
With two other collaborators, Claire Tracey and Sarah Cole, we are putting on an Bio Bike roving performance for Sat 10th and Sun 11th Feb.
Here’s a little more background and detail about the project.
The original inspiration came from the old armed forces morale-boosting concerts – and the recognition medals for services, commendable action and extraordinary achievement. Our spin is to boost morale AND award our own Bio Medals (all of which I have personally made out of recycled bike parts, inner tubes, discarded jewellery and other found objects) but these are for services to community members for environmental and sustainability services and action.
We are the Eco Protection Corps (EPS).
There are three performers – a brunette (me), a blonde (Claire) and a redhead (Sarah) – so the first idea was that there was one person for each ‘armed’ corps – Army, Navy and Air Force.
Each performer would research and give out enviro and sustainability awards and recognition medals that correlated with their ‘Eco Force’. For example:
- ‘Army’ for land, soil and rubbish management, flora and fauna, housing, urban and contested spaces, biochar, erosion, gardens, composting, recycling, etc.
- ‘Air Force’ for air quality, air emissions, atmosphere pollution, acid rain, storms and extreme weather events, climate change/ozone issues, birdlife, etc.
- ‘Navy’ for water quality, water use and conservation, desalination, plastic ocean pollution, fish and sealife issues, Great Barrier Reef, coral bleaching, oil spills and waste water control, etc.
The Eco Protection Corps (EPC) is a bike-powered, environmentally themed performance taking place at the Sustainable Living Festival in Federation Square. Roving members of the Eco Corps will ride an Eco T(h)ank bike around the festival, handing out medals awarding excellence in environmentalism and sustainability.
The Eco T(h)ank bike and the medals of excellence are made
from predominantly up-cycled and recycled materials.
The aim of the project is to generate positive reinforcement around individual environmental action and to remind the public that ‘an army’ of sustainable frontliners is made up of many individuals creating positive change towards global sustainability.
This project aims to promote, encourage and recognise the thoughtful environmental action taken by local community members.
The Eco Corps Bio bike , or Eco T(h)ank, and performance is a reaffirming, fun and direct way to celebrate with the wider community and array of positive, creative and personal eco action.
It is our aim that this artwork will create interest, discussion and education around the need for sustainable action and will explore creative and innovative ways this can be achieved.
The Eco T(h)ank
The idea of the Eco T(h)ank is to use the well-known tank as a motif of the strength and force needed to address these environmental issues – and jell that with the community-based involvement for sustainability theme of the Festival.
The bike is instantly recognisable as a ‘Tank’- but most importantly, we are keen to promote the positivity and ‘green-ness’ of this project.
So we will have modifying the tank shell to be an Eco T(h)ank – so it is clearly distinguishable as a representation of the Environment (Eco) thanking (Thank) people who have progressed and ‘fought’ to protect the environment and progress sustainable practices.
The performance and distribution of ‘Environmental Excellence Medals’ represent the awarding of present achievements and services rendered, as well as involving the general public in the show and helping to build a sense of unity, pride and camaraderie for our precious community and environment.
Our performance is based on interacting with the general public and discussing sustainability issues with them (participation, education and promotion). During this, we will ask people what they have done to support sustainable living and use that as they basis to present an award to that person.
This way the awards are impromptu, individual and fun. Participants also get to keep a unique trinket from the Festival as a memento.
We hope that doing so will encourage even more positive sustainable practice – as well as discussion and recognition for small acts of environmental kindness that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
There are a few project considerations, but some of the key ones are:
- collaborating with 3 interstate performers (QLD, NSW & VIC)
- emphasising the Eco not the militaristic intent/aesthetic
- being respectful of armed forces personnel and possible issues
- being sure the bike shell (Tank) can flat-pack down and be transported in a bike bag easily for flights
- overall size and usability – getting on and off the bike
- manoeuvring the T(h)ank around a crowd and limited space
- avoiding damage and wear-and-tear to the T(h)ank during performance
- storage for the Sat night
- deciding who/when rides the bike and how the bike stands with/out people
Initial Conceptual plans for the EcoT(h)ank
Here are the three first concepts for the tank. The first idea was to have side wheels (too much space and too much work).
This morphed into having a side brace (part of this idea made it into the final design as the tank side panels).
The third idea was to have a turret and barrel where flowers can burst out of (so Banksy!). One idea for this was to mount only the barrel on the handle-bars so the barrel would swivel to point where ever the bike is pointed. But for safety and stability, this idea ended up being simplified so that the whole section was one piece mounted on the handlebars – the effect was the same, but was much less fiddling around.
Once this general plan was decided, attention turned to how to construct it so it could be flat-packed for quick and easy re/dissembled and so that the whole thing could fit into a bike bag for interstate transportation.
After much deliberation and checking of materials and finance, here is an overall plan for the T(h)ank aesthetic, size and design.
The last week has all been about making this structure and see what works and can be do during the construction of this plan.
See how it all turned out in the next post!