Commuter - Build
An installation by Rob Godfrey
Building a 50 foot / 15 metre coffin with toy trains running up and down its length is a bit of a challenge. The installation has to be aesthetically pleasing, and on an electro-mechanical level it also has to work perfectly everytime it's displayed/operated - by its nature, Commuter will have to operate for very long periods. Other design criteria are that Commuter has to be: 1) very robust. 2) weatherproof, so that it can be displayed both indoors and outdoors. 3) lightweight and portable.
There are six main design/construction drawings. Anyone could take these drawings, and, if they had the inclination, build Commuter exactly as Rob has designed it.
Drg No. 2103/64-01 GENERAL CONCEPT
Drg No. 2103/64-02 BASEBOARDS
Drg No. 2103/64-03 ELECTRONICS
Drg No. 2103/64-04 TRACKWORK & TRAINS
Drg No. 2103/64-05 COFFIN CONSTRUCTION
Drg No. 2103/64-06 CONSCIOUSNESS
The installation is 49 feet and 2 inches long x 4 feet at its widest point (15 metres x 1.35 metres) and breaks down into nine compact baseboards for ease of transportation. The photographs below show the shape of Commuter pegged out at its actual size:
The baseboards are constructed from 76 x 50 x 3 aluminium channel, which is lightweight, strong and rustproof. All joints are welded. The baseboards are designed to bolt together easily and quickly. The baseboard support legs are also constructed from aluminium, with adjustable feet. The legs fold up into the baseboards for transportation purposes.
12mm fibre board is screw fixed directly on to the aluminium baseboard frame, and 3mm rubber sheet is glued to the fibre board. This type of rubber sheet is more usually used as industrial flu liner and is extremely durable. The rubber is an off-white colour and represents flesh and bone. The tracks are laid directly on to this rubber sheet.
i. Sheet Metal Sonnet
"I'll cut your bleeding square throat back,
the wanky Gilbos are too blunt,
this square to round pox needs more knack,
Consultant's pulled another stunt.
The comic's drawn by some right runt;
me strife gives me a fucking fit;
'er Bodrum bum arf makes me grunt,
it's all a load of stainless shit".
The tea is brewed, a roll-up's lit,
with black bitch thumbs, a mastic grin;
sixteen gauge skin, Swarfega grit:
It'll all just end-up in the bin.
We're slipped a monkey from a Turk
and tell our shrinks about ductwork.
The heart and lung special effects sit on the rubber trackbed. The only baseboard penetrations are for the sensors and point motors. When Commuter is displayed outdoors the baseboards will be erected slightly off level, to allow water run off. This drainage system forms part of the coffin construction, which is explained on the next page.
All electrical wiring is run within the baseboard frames, with D-type connectors between the nine baseboards. This wiring is low voltage - 24 volts maximum. Mains voltage is kept within a special weatherproof enclosure beneath Board No.1.
Next Page - Coffin