The Politician: A Toy Cleveland, Ohio 40' x 40' x 35' . 1996.
Steel plate, fiberglass, polypropolene rope, cedar, eyecatchers, television
sets, motor, Alucobond, paint and electricity.
Video Clip of The Politician: A Toy
08NOV08 the sculpture comes down at E.66th and Chester
26FEB09 Installation of handle, bow ties and tail
My thanks to Tania Anochin at CSU and Doug Whipple of Seeley, Savage who made this move possible and just a tad easier to complete.
A PayPal donation to help preserve the sculpture The Politician: A Toy and help move it to a new location at Cleveland State University (South side of Nance School of Business at Chester Avenue and 18th Street).
It should be noted the Mayor of Cleveland, Michael R. White, opposed the erection of the sculpture for purely aesthetic reasons (“I ‘ve seen it and I don’t like it....” The Plain Dealer, Feb. 19, 1994.) This opposition created difficulty in obtaining the required building permits from the City’s Building Department. Ultimately the threat of a Federal lawsuit persuaded City officials to process Lawless’ building permits. The sculpture stands on private land and was privately funded. Overall engineering for the project was performed by Isaac Lewin and Associates of Cleveland, Ohio. Electrical design was handled by Gedion, Fredericks and Company and mechanical design was completed by Joe Prahl, Chairman of the Mechanical Design and Aerospace Dept. at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Initial lighting design was by the Centerior Energy Corporation. The sculpture is kinetic with an operating mouth and wheels which rotate eighteen hours a day. These components are mechanized and powered with a ˝ H.P. DC motor that is operated with a speed controller (so that because of the inertia involved with the weight of the wheels, slows down properly with the transmission when it shuts down each day) and set on a timer. The axles are large number two pencils. The mechanical aspects of the sculpture were designed by graduate students at the School of Engineering and Aerospace Design at Case Western Reserve University under the direction of Joe Prahl the Chairman of the department. The design for the mouth was done by Rich Kucinski a student of Joe Phral’s. The original design took into consideration the weight of the mouth pieces which originally were to be steel plate. The design, somewhat scissored based was to have the weight of the top mouth piece off set the weight of the bottom piece thus requiring a minimal amount of energy to operate. Ultimally this design did not work as the connecting plates of the mouth pieces developed a slight flex which caused the wheels of the mouth mechanism to bind up. The solution was to use a material called Alucobond for the mouth pieces. A light weight aluminum over-plastic material this was applied to a skeleton of steel, cutting the weight of each mouth section from over 800 lbs. to 80 lbs. The result was to remove the flex and create a smooth roll for the wheels and bearings involved in the up and downward movement. The sculpture is modular; bolted together in sections which can be shipped easily on tractor trailers. The handle is composed of cedar which was delivered in beam form (16" x 16" x 16'.) These beams were milled into planks 2 1/4" x 6" x 16' and then tongue and grooved on a bevel so that they could be glued together (using marine grade glues) into a rough circular diameter. Once the hollow handle was complete it was shipped to the Saco Woodworking and Turning Corporation in Saco, Maine to be turned smooth. The lathe at the Saco Corp. is the only one on the Eastern side of the country large enough to turn such a large column. It dates from the late eighteen hundreds. The top of the handle is made out of three chunks of cedar glued together and turned in the same fashion. The bowties were built by using a light weight steel armature (basically electrical conduit) overlaid with fiberglass. That were built in two sections and like the rest of the sculpture are bolted together and then bolted to the side of the sculpture. They weigh individually about 800 lbs. and are finished with an industrial automotive finish. The white polka dots were applied by hand using a sandblasters mask and white spray paint. The tail is composed of approximately two tons of polypropolene rope. This rope is manufactured every few years by the Hoover-Allison Company, locate in Xenia, Ohio for the barge boats which ply the Mississippi River. It is three inches in diameter, a bright yellow and made up of tiny strands which are woven together in a succession of larger and larger weaving machines. The last of these weavers also dates from the late eighteenth century and looks somewhat like a carnival ride as the large spools circle each other in a bradding motion. The rope is supported on a heavy steel armature and stands on its own foundation attached to the back of the sculpture with heavy bolts.
Contact Information:Svetlana Schreiber, Svetlana Schreiber and Associates LPA
1370 Ontario St, Suite 1620 Standard Bldg. Cleveland Ohio,44113, Toll-free: 866-553-4643, Phone:216-621-7292, Fax: 216-621-7293
With any questions please email Svetlana Schreiber