tom wilkinson
home current sculpture automata meta workshops exhibitions contact

Bike Bolex

I'm always experimenting with this project called Bike Bolex - thinking of ways to develop it as an artwork.
The idea came to me as I realised that If the film transport mecahnism was directly driven from the bike wheel,
on playabck of the 16mm film time could be warped or dilated.
So the camera is bike-cranked as opposed to hand-cranked as per camera used in silent movies era. When pedelling
the bike I try and slow down and speed up so on watching the film it looks as though you are travelling at a constant speed
while everything else; people walking by, cars etc, go into slow motion and then speed up. I shot the test film with help from
James Holcombe who, on getting back to the house he, to my amazement, developed the B&W 100ft reel in caffeinol,
a developer made from coffee and a few other edible products. It works perfectly and the negative was rich in grain and
contrast. He explained that there is a whole movement in film making where they don't want to flush chemicals down the drain.
During the filming the mechanism broke and the bike gears gave up but now it's all fixed and ready for a second filming, complete
with a the addition of a governor linked to the lens aperture to maintain a even exposure.

Bike powered camera2

Bike powered camera
Bike Bolex