Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Are you one of those DIYers always looking for his tools? No wonder. As soon as you've turned your back they have a real 'hammertime'.

Shamus Clisset aka Fake Shamus doesn't need his toolbox. To start his DIY project he just needs his 3D computer modeling tool and a can of beer within reach.

Shamus can lean back satisfied when the job is done and finally rendered as C-print.
Time for another well deserved beer ...

Shamus Clisset, 'Hammertime' (2011)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Furniture is there to be used. No question. But nobody can tell us how to use it. And small DIY-conversions do wonders.

Austrian artist Erwin Wurm made 'Performative Sculpures' for the Braem Pavilion in his current exhibition 'Wear Me Out' at Middelheim Park in Antwerp. The 'Performative Sculptures' are converted pieces of furniture, mostly cabinets, that have had their original function altered. They now function as chair or table if not undefined. In daily performances their new functions are demonstrated.

Erwin Wurm, 'Performative Sculptures' (2011)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Last week Richard Handl from Ängelholm, Sweden was arrested for trying to cook up his own nuclear reaction on his kitchen stove. He posted reports on his blog Richard's Reactor.

In his blog Handl reassures us that he's not the first one trying to build a DIY nuclear reactor.

The result he was going for must have been something like Olaf Brzeski's installation 'Little Boy': a livingroom nuclear explosion.

Olaf Brzeski, 'Little Boy' (detail) (2006)

[Brzeski's work 'Dream - Spontaneous Combustion' (2008) can be seen in the exhibition The Power Of Fantasy in Bozar in Bruxelles at the moment]

However, homemade nuclear exlosions seem to be 'the thing' at the moment:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Who says you need to buy your home appliances at the store?

Thomas Thwaites built a DIY-toaster from scratch, replicating a retail "Argos Value Range two-slice model toaster", for those of you who really are into toasters.

Nice job! Time for a well deserved lunch!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


The oldest branch of DIY is of course furniture making. Tables, cupboards and shelves made by our fathers and grandfathers have been past on for generations (although most likely not more then two) if only for sentimental and nostalgic reasons.

Dutch-German sculptor Anja Krause turned this sentiment the other way around. She recreated her grandmothers cupboard in chocolate. The framed sentimental phrase found above her grandmother's bed she wrote in chocolate on the wall: "Immer wenn du meinst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein Lichtlein her" ("Whenever you think things look gloomy, a little light shines through somewhere").

Grandmother Krause's comforting phrase should be in every DIY manual!

For another sculpture Krause knitted a carpet that also covers the comfy chair which usually sits on the carpet. It reminds us of the overzealous handiwork and tidying up practised by our grandmothers as well.

This sculpture can be seen at Rotabs at the moment.

Anja Krause, 'Nachtkastje (Night Table)', (1994)

Anja Krause, 'Stoel (Chair)', (1994)

Monday, May 23, 2011


Pipes, what would we do without them! Supplying nature's minerals to our houses and carrying organic waste out.

Considering this, all pipe fitting should be done using Burçak Bingöl's flower patterned pipes.

Burçak Bingöl, 'Kapali Devre (Closed Circuit)' (2011)

Burçak Bingöl, 'Kapali Devre (Closed Circuit)'(detail), (2011)

For more of Burçak Bingöl's work look here.

Showing until 14/06/2011 at Cda Projects in Istanbul.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


To make our modern buildings look like tight minimalistic objects and our cities as transparent as air, sealing kit and mirrored glass are the architects and city planners favourite materials. Of course - and maybe in consequence - the DIY-er knows his way around with sealing kit and glass foil - the new idiom of the art of building - as well.

The Turkish artist duo :mentalKLINIK reflects and questions our relation with the surrounding objects. In the 'Silver' series they have made panels of foiled glass, sealed with kit in their frames. The series 'Bias' and a work like 'Turnup' consists of anodic oxidised aluminium strips kitted togther with pink sealing kit.
These objects remind us of minimal art like Dan Graham's or Donald Judd's. On the other hand they might just as well be glass panes from a modern office building, with green polymer sealing kit pouring out of their frames.

:mentalKLINIK, 'Silver (06,07)', 2009

:mentalKLINIK, 'Turnup', 2009

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Dan Peterman, conceptual DIY-artist with an ecologist's mind, makes sculptures and installations mostly from recycled consumer plastic.

The 'Carrying Case', an early work, is from before the use of recycled plastic. The 'Storage' sculpture refers to storage space in wholesale hardware stores, while the 'Nailless Bench' is proof of the designer's mind.

Dan Peterman, 'W/ Carrying Case 500 Series - Red, Handle On Case, Unidentified' (1988-1989)

Dan Peterman, '4-Ton Vertical Storage' (1996)

Dan Peterman, 'Nailless Bench' (2009)

Find more on Dan Peterman's work in the Fitness Feedback blog.


The Power Tool, as everybody knows, is an extention of masculinity and manhood.

Rubén Ortiz Torres, a Mexican artist living in L.A., U.S.A., portraits stereotypes of the Mexican immigrant in his Pan-American relation to "the American citizen".

Mexicans in California are usually destined to manual labor like gardening or window washing. The macho Chicano is also known for his lowrider: the shiny pimped classic car with hydraulic suspension, sitting low above the ground.

Torres's sculptures and installations combine the power tool of the low-income job (like leaf blowers and lawn mowers) with the hydraulics and polished chrome of the lowrider. These sculptures not only portrait Mexican culture within the U.S.A. but also comment on their political-social relationship.
To read the interesting story behind the pimped leaf-blowers on Torres's own blog follow this link.

Rubén Ortiz Torres, 'Power Tools (detail)', (1999)

Rubén Ortiz Torres, 'Power Tools (detail)', (1999)

Rubén Ortiz Torres, 'The Garden of Earthly Delights' (2002)

Rubén Ortiz Torres, '1492 Indians vs. Dukes' (1993)

Friday, May 6, 2011


Reusing wood from dumpsters in his renovation-projects riddled home town of Rotterdam, NL, Ron van der Ende crafts cunning photo-realistic bas-reliefs of his favourite topics. The panels exist of assembled pieces of precisely cut pre-painted and carefully selected salvaged wood (old doors, cabinets, floor boards, window sills, etc.) as in a mosaic.
Check it out!

Ron van der Ende, 'Work-Table / Werktafel' (2003 – 2005)

Ron van der Ende, 'Grytviken (Whalers Lodge)' (2007)

Ron van der Ende, 'Peekskill' (2008)

Ron van der Ende, 'Silver Machine (Lotus Turbo Esprit 1983)' (2007)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Tools and machines, assembly required. Michael Johansson's sculptures and installations reflect on the aesthetics of our growing DIY, home improvement and interior design culture.
The beauty (of the potential) of the unassembled kit and organised space.
Michael Johansson is from Sweden.

Michael Johansson, 'Some Assembly Required - Starter Kit' (2011)

Michael Johansson, 'Engine Bought Seperately - Hugin' (2007)

Michael Johansson, 'Some Assembly Required - Scooter' (2007)

Michael Johansson, 'Engine Bought Seperately - Volta' (2007)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


What if every subject has been turned into object? Nothing left but to turn the tools used in this proces into subject themselves.
This might be a simplified explanation of the installation work 'Tisch' ('Table') by Swiss duo artist Fischli/Weiss.
Fischli/Weiss's work is known for their relativism: photo's of non-descript airports, cause-action videos, objects in dangerous balance, concrete moulded 'landscapes'.
'Tisch' looks like the content of their studio being transfered 'as-is' to the museum floor. However, every bit in the installation is a polyurethane reproduction of these objects.
Leaning towards the readymade, the existentialism in their work goes further then that. The bold reflection in a work like 'Tisch' or 'Airport' questions our surroundings deeper then just their superficial easthetics.
In 'Tisch' the readymade is reproduced to represent the tools and materials used in the making: a mirror inside a mirror.

Fischli/Weiss, 'Tisch' (1992-ongoing)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Gordon Matta-Clark's installations of cut-up buildings could easily have been mistaken for a do-it-yourself home improvement project wrong.

Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978), who had studied architecture in university, knew exactly the possibilities and restrictions of his unorthodox sculptural material. Interesting to see how in one project he would only touch the skin of the architecture leaving the structure in tact (e.g. 'Conical Intersect') and in another cut through structure (e.g. 'Splitting') leaving an unbalanced building.
Whatever approach he used it altered both the concept of building and surrounding in his own urban interpretation of "Earth Art".

Being a member of the Anarchitecture group Matta-Clark's work is filled with social engagement. Not only in the use of derelict buildings and leftover urban spaces but also in works like 'Garbage Wall': a homeless shelter, or 'Fresh-Air Cart': a sculptural pamflet about air-polution.

His diy-approach can further be seen in projects like Food, a restaurant run be artists and a cultural meeting place in Soho, NY.

Gordon Matta-Clark, 'Self Portrait' (1972)

Gordon Matta-Clark, 'Conical Intersect' (1975)

'Splitting' (1974)

Gordon Matta-Clark, 'Fresh-Air Cart' (1972)


Do it yourself !


Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Welcome to the AUT-O-BRIC-O-LAGE ('self-tinkering') blog. Starting point for this blog is Papierschnittwunde's third edition print.

If there is one thing which characterizes man at the moment it is the urge to define him/herself publicly. Mass media mirror these urges perfectly in the many 'becoming-a-star'-shows, leaving the audience withthe impression it could be their 15 minutes of fame or the next showbizz sensation.
Another exponent is the abundance of home improvement, gardening and make-over shows. Life can be better if you fix it yourself.

In this blog let us see how this is reflected or commented upon in the world of art, media and design.