For a piece called Metropolis II, artist Chris Burden is building a huge track and put 1200 Hot Wheels cars on it...the noise is deafening when they're all circulating.
It includes 1,200 custom-designed cars and 18 lanes; 13 toy trains and tracks; and, dotting the landscape, buildings made of wood block, tiles, Legos and Lincoln Logs. The crew is still at work on the installation. In "Metropolis II," by his calculation, "every hour 100,000 cars circulate through the city," Mr. Burden said. "It has an audio quality to it. When you have 1,200 cars circulating it mimics a real freeway. It's quite intense."
In a piece from 1979 called Big Wheel, artist Chris Burden took a massive 19th century iron flywheel and set it spinning with the rear wheel of a small motorcycle. The flywheel spins for *three hours* on a single charge.
Several of his larger works present a characteristic blend of purity, violence and monumentality now aimed at demonstrating simple principles of motion or mass in breathtakingly sculptural ways. In "The Big Wheel," Burden uses a motorcycle's rear wheel to set a three-ton iron flywheel, the survivor of a 19th-century factory, into a fast and furious spin that lasts about three hours. The contrast is wonderful: this old, simple Goliath of a wheel, man's first "machine," powered by a modern David -- small, complex and delicate.