Bike Series – Lorna Stewart – Knife Grinder

Lorna Stewart

“Knife Grinder is a performance that has developed out of a visit to Buenos Aires.  Lorna attaches a drive-belt to a bicycle  that connects a grindstone to the cogs used by the chain.  With the back wheel off the ground she activates this device which lifts her off the ground, thus supplying her with the armature for a performance and rendering her cycling stationary. ”

“She takes a knife and starts sharpening it on the grinder, which she works by continuing to cycle. The action of her body coordinates with that of the pedals and the grinder; the whole suggesting some fantastic machine such as one might read about in a novel by Raymond Roussel: deviser of cruel, if fictitious, machines, often designed to destroy the body.  However there is also a reference to leading and following – Stewart is motivating the movements of the bicycle.”

– Anthony Howell, April, 2005

Lorna Stewart is an English artist who graduated from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff with a first class degree in 2000.  She won the Helen Gregory Memorial Scholarship in 2000 and received the Arts Admin Bursary in 2003.  Lorna Stewart works both as a solo artist and in collaboration with other artists.  She has regularly performed both nationally and internationally including at the Birmingham Ikon Galley as part of Fierce Festival 2004 and also performed in Nipaf, Japan, in the Recontre Festival, Quebec, the 11th Performance Art Conference, Essen, at The Ocean Club, London, and in The April Festival, Belgrade.  She also performed in a film by Jayne Parker and Anthony Howell called ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ for BBC2’s Dance on Camera season.  Lorna Stewart also dances tango, teaches and has performed for the Tango Volcano band and is a member of Tango Art.

Johannes Bergmark – The Veloncell Marcel

The Veloncell Marcel is a hommage-copy of Duchamp’s famous Bicycle Wheel. The spokes of the wheel on the kitchen stool (and anything on the fork) are amplified through a contact microphone on the hub. Mine (made 80 years later), has a tyre and a dynamo, for the electrical sound (and light!) (thus the first “electric” instrument that I have made). It was exhibited at the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts, Ulanbaatar, mongolia, and donated to the Blue Sun group. It is now in use by the mongolian musician Magnai.

Amplified objects, improvised music, experimental musical instruments, piano technician, composer, writer. Sound sculptures, performance art, lectures, workshops. His materials are cheap, his methods transparent, inspired by the touch of the hands and the poetic appeal of found objects. Explores the microcosm of small sounds without electronic treatments. A performance is an improvised puppet play, he hopes to inspire people to create their own poor man’s utopias. Skeptic and surrealist, he has cooperated with 502 artists from 26 countries on 403 venues in 25 countries. Active in Fylkingen, Electronic Music Studio, Vetenskap och Folkbildning, the Surrealist Group in Stockholm.

Bicycle Series: Joe Bigley: Traversing a Foreign Border Domestically

“Within the context of the project, Traversing a Foreign Border Domestically, the bike seems like the most appropriate mode of transportation. The bike is seen as a symbol of personal freedoms reflecting its self reliance nature reflecting on establishing a sovereign nation in Afghanistan. Bicycling around the country as a performance work, has proven effective in engaging in the public’s natural sense of curiosity augmenting the initiation of a dialogue regarding their thoughts on the war. “

Traversing a Foreign Boarder Domestically was a long-term endurance public performance project. Starting and returning to Ground Zero in Manhattan, New York, Joe Bigley bicycled the length and shape of the border of Afghanistan within the United States.

Averaging 75 miles per day, the project took 69 days to complete. This specific route intended to highlight the arbitrary nature of political boundaries and sets up opportunities to engage in a dialogue with a wider public to archive perceptions on the war.

Joe maintained a neutral stance on the topic of the war within the context of TFBD. This multi-faceted project has an experiential narrative aspect as well as the interactions with the public and their constant and humbling generosity. A wide range of opinions on the war have been collected, in addition to a number of bike related experience.

Project participant

Performance participant

The content my work influences the methodologies and materials chosen for any given project.  My studio practice incorporates a wide range and expanding use of materials including cast metals, kinetic installation, digital video and performance work. I am constantly exploring the role that art plays in society by challenging the location of arts existence both in thought and physicality. Lately my work has been placing itself in a public setting to gauge a reaction to scenarios that challenge people’s expectations of navigating through the everyday.

For lots more information, videos, and photos, please visit this project’s website.

Call to Artists working with Bicycles! DEADLINE EXTENDED to AUGUST 1, 2011

Are you creating ephemeral works utilizing a Bicycle or multiple Bikes?  If so, The Present Tense wants to see what you are doing and consider your work for an upcoming blog post on Bikes as a performative object.

Please send the following information to by August 1 2011.
Artist statement (100 words)
Artist Bio (100 words)
Examples of past work using Bike(s): Images and/or video
Maximum of 10 images (72 dpi no larger than 8×10 inches)
Still images must be accompanied by an image list containing the following information:
Title of piece
Year it was created
Brief description of piece
1-2 Links to Video not to exceed 10 minutes each (hosted on Vimeo, Youtube, or similar site).
Please provide the following information for each video submitted
Title of piece
Year it was created
Brief description of piece if needed

Answer the following question:

Why do you use Bicycles in your work?

Email all information to