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Watch 3144 bicycles get assembled in three minutes

Posted by Guest Contributor / October 11, 2013

Ai Weiwei nuit blancheAi Weiwei's "Forever Bicycles" installation at City Hall is surely the most popular piece of Nuit Blanche-commissioned artwork since the event got started in Toronto back in 2006. Composed of 3144 bicycles, the elaborate structure has captured the attention of the city in a way that few art projects do. But how exactly was it put together? We snuck some photos of the installation process, but a new timelapse released today shows the painstaking process required to assemble the thousands of connected bicycles. Shot by Ryan Emond, who some will remember from his spellbinding work on previous sequences like Toronto Tempo and Planet Toronto, the video is fitting tribute to dazzling piece of contemporary art and the workers who brought it all together.

"Ai Weiwei has been an inspiration since my first trip to Beijing a couple years ago, after visiting Galerie Urs Meile and 798 Art Zone. I was thrilled to document such an important international artist's work," Emond explains. "The thought of the possibility of him seeing my work after being so enchanted by his was amongst my main motivations while completing the project."

Emond has an in depth description of his process on his Vimeo page, which is worth a read. And, if you haven't made a trip to see "Forever Bicycles" yet, note well that it will be installed at Nathan Phillips Square until October 27th.



iSkyscraper / October 11, 2013 at 09:01 am
Fantastic. And a giant middle finger to Rob "War on the Bike" Ford, right on his doorstep (presuming he shows up at the office anymore).
Art / October 11, 2013 at 09:03 am
would have been better if those 3144 bicycles were distributed to low income people -who could actually use them. a lot of happy kids and adults
maybe this can be done after
Marc replying to a comment from Art / October 11, 2013 at 09:20 am
Are you one of those people that make it a job to put a poverty lens on everything?
Al / October 11, 2013 at 09:31 am
Are you one of those people that make it a job to complain about everything everyone says here?
koolAid replying to a comment from Art / October 11, 2013 at 09:33 am
Welshgrrl / October 11, 2013 at 10:08 am
I walked through NPS the other afternoon and checked it out, its a very striking piece and I enjoyed being able to walk around, through and under it without dealing with hordes of Nuit Blanche drunks.

Glad they kept it up for a few extra days, the inevitable trolls on this thread notwithstanding.
Steve / October 11, 2013 at 10:28 am
Bob & Doug must want to drive their SUV through it. Damn pinko cyclists!
Dylan / October 11, 2013 at 10:44 am
I don't get it.
hamish / October 11, 2013 at 11:13 am
A great video of it all; thanks - but I'm terribly conflicted. It is a giant finger to the Fordists, but how much did it all cost to put it together and how sad we can't instead manage to put in bike lanes where they're truly needed like Bloor St. W. or the lower core. We also have a climate crisis - so in energy terms it's also sad that we have all this imported from China and for what real use? Can we buy a new atmosphere from China?
Holly replying to a comment from Art / October 11, 2013 at 12:10 pm
They aren't functional bicycles.
Matt / October 11, 2013 at 01:07 pm
riget / October 11, 2013 at 01:22 pm
ryan looks like a real transvestite in that photo of his
Poly / October 11, 2013 at 01:23 pm
Wow, this video was beautiful shot.
Jono / October 11, 2013 at 03:55 pm
Hamish: We all seem to know *just enough to be dangerous, eh? Just enjoy the art for its own sake, I say. I promise you that the entire budget for this piece was not enough to draft a report on any one of the issues you raised ; )

adam / October 28, 2013 at 02:45 am
I helped build this... it's actually 3, 266 bikes... we had to hide support beams
adam / October 28, 2013 at 02:47 am
also every bike was fully functional... should you put In the effort to make it ride
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