Cold Tinnie

I have had at least 5 nominations for this Curtin University object. Two questions come up when people see it for the first time. 1 “What is it?” And 2, “What’s that shit all over it?”

What it is, is the chilled water tank for air conditioners on campus. The shit all over it is an attempt to turn it into a work of art. There have been I think, boasts of it being the largest artwork in The southern hemisphere or something, (although I cannot believe that Paraguay doesn’t have bigger,) but I think that sounds suspiciously like “Never mind the quality, feel the width”. I would prefer it unadorned myself. Would look more impressive.

curtin university
curtin university

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About The Lazy Aussie

Commended Haiku writer. A lover of The West's Worst. Perth stand-up comedian, photographer and writer.
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29 Responses to Cold Tinnie

  1. bernard langham says:

    “epic fail”, as they say on the intertubes.


  2. Did it collect pieces of tar and sticks when they pushed it up the hill to get there ?


  3. gaugepin says:

    Charles and Ray Eames would be proud!


  4. meccano101 says:

    L.A there could be a whole section devoted to this kind of art [ and I use the term broadly] Art as disguise. I have a great challenge piece for you here in melbourne. I will try and find a link for it.


  5. CK says:

    It’s just absolutely crap and pathetic, isn’t it? Up there with Yagan and walrii and bum-scratching public art.

    And given how srapped universities are for cash, who is responsible for:

    a) Commissioning the work?
    b) Writing the contract (e.g “Top-quality world-beating welded steel artwork.”
    c) Doing the work as per contract?
    d) Approving payment?

    FFS, Why didn’t they fly Banksy in to do a bit of half decent graffito?

    And actually, as I currently work for a mining company, I’m fairly highly attuned to the subtleties of welding specifications and qualifications (you know, so the structure doesn’t actually fall down).

    It looks a professional job (but really, who can tell?), so what was the role of the artist (“I want you to weld a bunch of shit onto an air-conditioning tower”?)

    Err, and, LA, Paraguay does have an underwater sculpture heaps bigger and far more interesting than this


  6. Ben says:

    Hmmm yeah this is well known for “what the hell?” factor, but I disagree with it being the worst of Perth. If it was rusty and crusty then sure, but not as it stands.


  7. I feel it is a little half hearted Ben, as if they sort of wanted to do something, but not really. (that’s Perth I suppose). Here is a location where there are no locals to object.They had a great chance for something remarkable. I think it should have been totally outrageous. At the moment it looks like a tank with some stuff on it. Really, people mostly ask what it is and what is that stuff on it?

    Jeez CK, I should have known you would have some Paraguayan facts up your sleeve.


  8. meccano101 says:

    L.A it is difficult to get a sense of its size, how high is that first rung? Is it easily climbable? It seems to me there is a tremendous opportunity for a shopping trolley and a few well placed witches hats.


  9. It’s massive, but yes. Oversize novelty witches hats would have to be used.


  10. Mazarina says:

    It would make a rather nice giant cheese grater I think.


  11. tomthrett says:

    oh jebus. this is sooooo, sooo awful. it really is such a half assed job, and a case where its completely not neccesary. perth seems hell bent on making art out of things that dont need it/doesnt need it, like it gets the feeling all things need decoration, or it will expose the true perth, and the true perth is ugly! ooh!just recognise its a water cooler, leave it. not everything needs to be beautified. also see the new mandurah line for the most appauling public art in the universe. or at leighton, opposite hte north freo traino, wiggly poles. why! on a related note, a ‘how to’ make good public art see the iwanoff sculpture at curtin, outside the library. wikid.


  12. There are a few really nice ones at Curtin.


  13. My Ning says:

    Maybe it was put together by the same people who did the set design for Kevin Costner’s Waterworld. Also wouldn’t have looked out of place in Mad Max II, possibly as the container that held the “gasoline”…a post-Apocalyptic vision to be sure…


  14. Martin says:

    How does it look at night? Doesn’t it light up?

    The building next to it is pretty rad.


  15. One wonders what the concept was behind the dressing up of the cooler…any clues…and given that there is an art school at Curtin, do you think the first year art students had a hand in this one, or was it first year engineering ;-)


  16. I’m thinking engineering. I agree with Tom and Meccano that it is sorta, kinda half hiding the fact that it is a cooling tower, and what’s the point? If it was art students, I think it would have fallen off in the first week. It looks pretty solid.


  17. I’ll find out if it lights Martin. Yes the physio business building has its interesting angles.


  18. Suggested graffito on it “Poned by TWOP”


  19. And the T would be for Teh right?


  20. Martin says:

    Did you know Curtin was originally going to be called Curtin University Of New Technology?

    That is, until they realised what the acronym would be.

    For real.


  21. I prefer to make fun of Edith Cowan.


  22. meccano101 says:

    MARTIN – Before Curtin of course, you had- The Western Australian Institute of Technology WAIT which just about sums up the place.
    L.A surely there is room for TWOP acronym/spoonerism. One close to my heart WAAPA. It is always interesting to see the reaction from an overseas director when you tell them you went to WAAPA.
    And how did BANK WEST [WANK BEST] slip through all those design meetings – let alone the dreadful logo they arrived at.


  23. Jacquiak says:

    I can’t really verify this story but a few years ago I was talking to my friend about this cooling tower and she informed me that she knew the designer.

    ‘Apparently’ when it was originally designed, it didn’t have all the orange bits and pieces attached. It was supposed to simply be a silver textured tower – but when they created the silver tower, they didn’t use the correct materials. The designer had intended that the tower was to be built using more of a matte silver material. However, Curtin / the Project Managers / whoever opted for a less expensive, more metallic material which resulted in a super shiny mirror which blinded motorists driving past.

    So the orange bits and pieces where erected with the attempt to defuse the light from the sliver tower.

    Again, I don’t really have a source for this story as I’ve completely forgotten who told this to me, but it sounded plausible :)


  24. Mez says:

    It was designed by architects Jones Coulter Young who have done a fair bit of tragic work around the uni – goes to prove that, as much as they try or as much as they believe they are – architects aint no artists

    the following gumpf is from Architecture Australia Magazine January 2003, and goes a long way to prove my point:

    “The stainless steel cladding – a panelled skin rippled by the liquid foam insulation it contains – has a changing sheen depending on the time of day and the quality of light. It has become a temporal marker, its appearance shifting over the course of the day. Like a gasometer, its structure and silhouette are constant, but the visual character reflects a daily cycle – the rise and fall of a diaphragm is replaced by the change in hue of the cladding. With the completion of the CBS & SOP, the tower now has an additional steel frame supporting a screen of colourful steel fragments (also derived from the Duchamp painting) that float like clouds over the skin.”

    ’nuff said


  25. noideaforaname says:

    Is that a pair of breasts 4 rungs down, to the right??


  26. A breast theme may have saved the whole show. Just an accident I think, but you never know with these French artists. Nude Descending a Cooling Tower.


  27. meccano101 says:

    JCY again! It only seems like months ago we were discussing their work at Edith Cowan –


  28. Bento says:

    I realise this is probably a bit wrong, but I always think of polio calipers when I see this thing.


  29. Pingback: Riots not diets « The Worst of Perth

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