Model 500 is a metal and vinyl sculpture focusing on music and politics, specifically on Detroit Techno, a genre of music I have long enjoyed. Model 500 is configured as a 10 x 10 grid in the guise of an American crossword puzzle. However the black squares typical of a crossword puzzle are here replaced with vintage 1980s Detroit Techno LPs mounted on the metal plates. The puzzle is made up of 100 metal plates (325 x 325 cm each) strung together like a net. In the early 90s, techno quickly gained popularity in the Europe before being reimported back into the US as “European dance music.” The African-American, Detroit–based origins of techno are often overlooked. As noted by Ben Tausig, the music and the culture of techno reflect an elaborate artistic and technological response to the transition from industrial to post-industrial world, as well as an innovative approach to the possibilities of modern machine technologies and their application to music. The artwork resembles a minimalist sculpture, an LP display structure, and a metal fence or urban barrier but more than that, it is also functional - it is an actual solvable crossword puzzle, created in collaboration with the crossword puzzle constructor and music historian Ben Tausig. The clues are written in black vinyl directly onto the wall nearby. A take away of the puzzle is available to visitors who wish to solve the puzzle. Answers are available upon request. The title for the work refers to the name used by Techno pioneer Juan Atkins which in turn is of course a riff on Ford’s Model-T.
(2019) Aluminum, paint, LPs, plastic, vinyl lettering on wall, paper handout.