This life-size model of a civilian Hummer H1 was constructed from Styrofoam scavenged from the trash, during a three-month residency at SF Recycling & Disposal’s Artist In ResidenceProgram. This program gives artists the opportunity to create art from materials found in the San Francisco dump. SF Recycling & Disposal provides a studio on the dump premises, tools, a small stipend, and most importantly access to SF’s waste stream. This experience culminates in a two-day show of the artist’s work at the end of the residency. Styrofoam Hummer was the centerpiece of this show, entitled American Detritus.
The Styrofoam Hummer was handcrafted brick by Styrofoam brick from thousands of individual pieces of shaped polystyrene, glued together and then either shaved and sanded down, cut with a hot-wire tool, or skinned with a sheet of polystyrene veneer. The assembled pieces sit on a frame made of plywood and 2×4 lumber, also scavenged from the dump. Held together with five gallons of StyroWeld glue, a case of Liquid Nails, a case of PL polyester adhesive, and various screws, bolts, metal rods and pipes, this model weighs between 400 and 700 pounds. It is 17 feet long, 6 feet high, and with mirrors, over 8ft wide. It probably floats. Flexible sheets and tubes of polyethylene, a cousin of polystyrene, were also used to create some things for the Styrofoam Hummer, such as the soft top and brush guard. To construct the vehicle to the correct proportions a 1/25 plastic model was used and then scaled to life size. Measurements were also taken from a real Hummer H1, which, incidentally, is owned by a local SF man who runs his H1 on bio-diesel fuel.