The Anti-Car Art of Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark

Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark did not set out for their site-specific installation art to be anti-car, but the stacks of dented fenders and cracked windshields that feature in their latest works give an undeniable air of the auto-apocalypse. They’ve become junked-car connoisseurs.

“We’ve been trying to think about the ways that people come together in public space, and, for us, in some way that’s connected to use and reuse in this era of planned obsolescence,” explains Jeff Stark, who is also a daily cyclist and a TransAlt member.

In Empire Drive-In — which premiered in New York at the Hall of Science in Queens in 2013 — visitors chose a seat in a wrecked car to watch a movie on a 40-foot screen built from salvaged wood. During the three-week residency in a parking lot in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, films included Suburbia, Jim Jarmusch’s taxi driver classic Night on Earth, and The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant. A showing of Breaking Away was presented by Transportation Alternatives. In YOLO (pictured), the artists turned the drive-in cinema inside out, projecting scenes of traffic crashes in Hollywood films onto the windows of junk cars.

“There’s a real absurdity to what we’ve decided is normal, with these big, unwieldy hunks of steel and plastic all over our cities,” says Stark. “I ride a bike built in a factory in 1985 and it works great every single day. And yet whenever we go to the junkyard, it’s full of these kind of crappy cars that have been on the road for fewer than 10 years.”

Find more stacks of junked cars at empiredrivein.com.
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