In my admittedly increasingly loose definition of history, there’s plenty of room for the 1980s. The World Sculpture Racing Society, founded in 1981 by Jeff Cage and Kirby Scutter, staged annual races and exhibitions of kinetic sculpture at the Cambridge River Festival throughout the decade. In 1987, the group also staged a contest in Wisconsin, chronicled in the Milwaukee Journal.
A sculptor from Racine, Wisconsin took home first prize with a miniature racecar called the “Alchemic Terraplane.” The second prize went a visitor from Boston , Arthur Ganson, for his sculpture, ‘faster.’
Ganson also took third place with the “‘Dododecapede,’ a walking metal sculpture with dozens of intricately geared feet and legs.”
Faster had debuted in Boston. Ganson entered it in a number of races. He could have won, he says. But “every time you finish writing the word, I would stop and I would give the card to somebody on the side of the road. So I would never win the race because I’m always stopping.”
Arthur Ganson talks about his career in odd machines at TED.