Ice Cream Vans – Drivers and the Factory for Makers

Ice Cream Vans – that, as discussed, transform the spatial relationships around them when they deploy – operate at the mercy of the seasons and our reaction to them. This is why they are forced into hibernation at Mr Freeze-O-Cream’s yard in the winter…

As such their spatial effect is temporal at multiple scales. On the scale of seasons, they either transform space or they do not. At the scale of afternoons, they transform space temporarily dependent on how they are arranged within the spatial environment and in relation to us, as (coded) human beings – as ‘actors’.

What if you could take this second reading – that of minutes and hours – and apply it to an inversion of the first reading? A winter use for these transient spatial transformers…

Hackney Wick – as we have seen – is a place behind doors. A place of privacy and elected isolation. A place that engages with you on its terms. During the cold winter months, its detached occupants emerge only when necessary…hurrying between places, going to and from engagements and employment (legitimate or otherwise), or to grab a cup of hot tea from a curiously parked wagon on Prince Edward Road. Escape characterizes engagement, and this temporary installation represents the paradox by which the most temporary of occupants holds the most complete of pictures…

Information exchanged by way of a middleman. Transaction grants a shared snippet and tempts the guarded soul, satisfying that which is deprived behind the weary wall do of studios, workshops and warehouses.

What if these Makers had another way of affecting their environment,whilst remaining hidden enough to enjoy its anonymous effects? The factory growing at Monier Road gives them a place to go – to tinker and fiddle when business is slow. Arriving through tunnels, through alleys and through multiple entrances, the makers, constructors, artists and engineers work flexi-time in the factory – creating interventions to be strewn anonymously around the Wick. The thickness of a wall protects them from the other visitors to the yard – those that come seeking the thrill of a risk. Those that pick up the keys to a blacked-out, converted Ice Cream Van having never seen another soul amongst the fences and debris…whilst the Makers disperse, back out through their tunnels and alleys to their eyries high in old industry to witness the effects of their labour. Limited by an unknown curfew, the Drivers tear out into the backstreets to make the most of their random allocations

The risk is what attracts the Drivers…what could descend from the gantry to occupy the next few hours of their lives? What – sealed in the van – must they deal with until the automaton steers its way home?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Ice Cream Vans – Drivers and the Factory for Makers

  1. Pingback: Ice Cream Vans as Spatial Production – Intervention (_SB) « StudioCode

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