Steven Laurie’s Art Of The Motor

We’ve served up dozens if not hundreds of machines with a practical purpose, but we are always interested in machines like those [Steven Laurie] makes, which serve no other purpose than looking impressive, spewing smoke, leaving tire marks, and making a lot of racket. We’ll give you the scoop on Steve’s motor art after the break.

[Steven Laurie] is a native of Whitby, Ontario, where a local art gallery called the Station Gallery is exhibiting his motor-powered artwork. There [Laurie] demonstrated his Posi-Track Burnout Machine, which looks something like a souped-up lawnmower sitting on top of a car axle. Instead of being pushed along the grass, though, the burnout machine revs against the pavement creating skid marks on the asphalt as it pulls forward against the grip of the driver.

Another of Laurie’s machines, the Handheld Rubber Burner, does much the same thing as the Burnout Machine, except instead of making long skid marks, it is intended to create user-designed skid marks. This custom machine is small enough to be held and directed using two hands. He also designed a similar device called the Stationary Rubber Burner (also called the Donut Machine) with the same purpose in mind, but it can only create circular skid marks since it pivots around center post. All three machines create skid marks, but the true art is in the performance, with the tires squealing, the engine revving, and the smell and the smoke of burning rubber fill the air.

For the pure visceral sensation of revving engine sounds, Laurie created the Boom Tube. It is a lawnmower engine mounted on a stand with an exhaust tube jutting upward. It does nothing more than idle and create a distinctive sound.

A slightly more interactive take on the concept is his Stationary Revving Machine. It is little more than an engine with a gas pedal, but like his other creations, it is intended to evoke the sounds and smells associated with muscle cars.

Laurie is nothing if not thorough, as evidenced by a smaller revving machine he named Wild Thing. It’s just a chainsaw with a large exhaust tip and no cutting ability.

Two other machines, the Ape Hanger Rumbler and the Grass Ripping/Grave Diggin’ Machine are also part of the exhibit. Even though we know you like machines that do practical things, we recommend that you contemplate your gear lust at this exhibit if you’re in the Ontario area. If not, check out [Steven Laurie]’s Flickr stream.

31 thoughts on “Steven Laurie’s Art Of The Motor

  1. It’s cool in its own way but honestly, its the most useless thing I’ve seen today. Actually, a motor on a stand is kinda just that to me, a motor…on a stand.

  2. Agreed. those are just all energy wasting machines. That chainsaw would be cool though if the exhaust tip was one of the ones with the flashing leds around the circumference. just kidding.

  3. You know, I was really kinda getting irritated to see all the comments about hack-a-day putting up “Not real hacks” I guess I had more patience , but as always patience wears out. Ive waited what a couple of weeks now (has it been that long) since the writer mash up and i’m out of patience. hack-a-day has gone from a really interesting rss feed on my Google page (that until today I religiously clicked on daily) to well, i hate to put it in the same category, but it has become no better than the Hacked gadgets website A click generating website packed with loads of junk, and nothing of any real value. Since it’s simply an rss feed, I’ll leave it on my google page for now, but I can guarantee it’ll soon make it on my list of things to take off my page. So, while I realize it’s pretty hard to continue digging up real unique hacks day after day, but come one guys, it looks like you guys are going for quantity now, I mean I see three or so new hacks daily, almost all of which are totally worthless

    To to owner of the website,
    I’m sure most of us would rather see one GOOD hack per day, or even a good hack of something we have already seen versus all this bull sh(t thats been posted lately
    PS this ridiculous power wasting hunk of sh)t is what did it for me

  4. yup absolutly no fn point to those devices.
    complete waste of time, gas, and engines.
    if i were his neighboor, holy crap would i be pissed, i’d probally dynamite his ass as he reclined in his chair with his feet up on that boom tube.
    whitby ontario? that’s not too far from me and i garantee that are far more better things to do there then screw around with this “ART”, perhaps watching grass grow. this dumbass should shove a fork in a light socket.
    im dissapointed that hack a day would even bring this quality of “hack” into the light.

  5. Hey guys, instead of whining about the lack of cool hacks, you make one yourself, submit it to the site? I’m as tired of boring hacks like these as anybody else, but I actually work on hacks myself. You can bet I’ll contribute when I come up with something worthy.

    My thoughts on this guy’s machines: not as fun as they could be. Honestly, with engines, it’s go big or go home. If you’re gonna burn gas, you might as well make it sound like a formula one car and a top fuel dragster were crashing into each other inside a rocket-boosted jumbo jet.

    I would like to see that stationary revving machine go beyond the limits of the engine, though. 10,000 RPM+

    Or do what I would do with a bunch of engines: Attach them to ridable vehicles.

  6. The chainsaw is too small and clean. While I kind of agree with the above posters I understand what he is going for, but I really think the chainsaw misses the mark. Even without seeing it in person, I can tell.

    I think he should just get an old soviet tractor. My dad has one that he uses primarily as a forklift. The combination of Cyrillic letters and grease covered hydraulic rams turns a clunky piece of crap into something vaguely cool, even when I had to cut the grass in the field with it. The job is just pick a speed and turn the suicide knob every once and a while, but I was always thinking, I got two gearboxes, two clutches, two brake pedals, two ways to control throttle, and a bunch of broken gauges labeled in Russian. I could do something with this, or something.

  7. ok its been floating in my head for a while to ask this so pleas put up a pole with 4 questions; black and white or color images?, comets indented Y/N, capitals Y/N, articles per day 1/2/3/4. we have been discussing in the comments weather the changes have been good or bad and detracting from conversations for to long put it to a vote and let that be the end of it.

    personally i hate that there is so much crap getting posted i come to had for the cream of the crop not loads of crap, used to be i didn’t have to look for the gems on had

  8. Regarding the “art” of the original piece, it’s like anything else people claim to be art — it’s in the eye of the beholder. I’m sure 90+% of the people who might see this would think it’s stupid or pointless or both. That’s the thing about art — it can be.

    Would I go see this guy? No. Would I care about him? Not especially. Do I like his art? No. Is he an “artist”? If he believes he is, then he is. Should he make money off this piece of art? Only if someone is willing to pay him for it.

    That aside, it’s definitely way more “art” than “hack”. I actually saw nothing “hack” about it, other than I might call the artist a “hack” in a derogatory way. I pretty much think it was a useless performance, and a needless writeup on hackaday.

    But I’m not the guy who chose it, who might have thought it was the coolest thing he saw all day! So lighten up. Not everything is always shiny. Just like every other blog on the web, this site has some sucky postings every once in a while. Get over it, suggest something better, or go away.

  9. since when does taking something useful, decorating it, and removing all its its functionality count as a hack? Come to think of it, this almost falls into the category of anti-hack.

    **sigh** I’ve had about as much as I can take of this torrent of random news stories and uTube links. I’ll check back in a few weeks to see if things have been cleaned up, but I’m getting very close to removing this site from my daily pages.

  10. Useless. This isn’t art. This is a complete lack of regard for the environment on more than one level. Burn gas, without a catalytic converter, without doing anything more than making noise and putting a perfectly good set of tires’ smoke into the atmosphere. The noise isn’t even the good kind that emanates from vehicles a poster above pointed out; F1 cars, Top Fuel dragsters, muscle cars. Not even close dude, you’re using single-cylinder (and 2-stroke in one case) engines. Putt-putt-putt. Yep, sounds great man! /sarcasm. Not to mention no work is actually being performed here, which negates the need to have an engine running in the first place. How old is this idiot? 10? Gimme a damn break. Like someone above hinted at, I’m starting to question the validity of this site myself. It’s being taken off my iGoogle page to make room for more worthy content. I’ll check back every couple weeks, maybe.

  11. cactus im sick and tired of people saying “stop whining and hack something” instead of taking our comments as the constructive criticism that they are, its an attempt to make the site better. had was good in that the one story a day they had was the best and we got it here before it showed up on all the other blogs that just repost. you tube videos suck stop it they normally don’t have any thing of value just “hay look what i can do” with no details.

  12. I agree with the people who have posted so far. This is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen.

    So some asshole tack welded an exhaust tip to a Briggs & Stratton? Bravo?

    This is normally where I would say, “Oh, so if I make a *insert name of thing here* would I get on Hack-A-Day too?” but I’m not able to think of anything near as pointless.

    Seriously. WTF are you people thinking?

  13. I’m a car guy and seeing the title of “burnout machine” my first thought was “cool” it looked kind of interesting from the picture… but then yep 2 wasted minutes of a weak motor that couldn’t even spin trailer tires let alone make the “muscle car” sounds he was going for.

    this project fails on so many levels.

    As for hack-a-day in general I agree with the other comments, I’d like to see some digression with the articles maybe a set of rules for selection.
    1. it needs to be something thats a one off creation and not some corporate prototype (ie: no showing off cellphone prototypes or garbage like that, exceptions would be open source projects)
    2. it needs to have documentation so that we the readers could re-produce the device ourselves or at very least learn something new

    THATS IT… I think if you just follow those two rules people would be happy. If I want to read about Tech Litigations I’ll go to Slashdot if I want to see lame performance artists revving lawn mowers I’ll go somewhere else.

    I stopped submitting articles months ago since none of what I was submitting was getting posted… I’ll admit some of them weren’t the most interesting hacks but the where hacks with documentation…

  14. Like twistedsymphony #16 I too have submitted a project or two without any result… which I was ok with, but at least it was a project / process / hack. I am ok with change and modification… but I miss the way the site used to be, and I am not so sure that the changes we have created a better site. Just my opinion.

  15. Anyone that’s claiming thing isn’t art should provide us with their own definition of art (which will be wrong, unless someone was appointed supreme dictator of the English language and could change the meanings of words at will).

  16. I have to agree with twistedsymphony on both points here, I think his rules would be the perfect submissions for hackaday. I too have submitted projects in the past, only to find them not posted at all or posted one or two months later saying it was tipped by someone else. Admittedly I see what you are trying to do with loads of writers and spreading the work and all, but please at least keep the same quality as older posts and maybe even some decent documentation on the projects, I was disappointed when I didn’t find any for the hardware music posts when they first appeared..

  17. I liked coming here for 1-2 hacks a day. This new “spam 10 pieces of crap” ideal is annoying and is now making me not waste my time here any longer. We gave you 2 weeks to fix this and learn but you havent listened to your readers so GG noobs.

  18. I agree with the above comments. I loved the old hack a day where you could come in once a day and find something that you may want to build yourself. Either documented hacks or just some hack to provide inspiration for your own hack are both great. This “hack” on the other hand is nothing but lame modern art, reminds me of the “hack” Homer Simpson did on that DIY BBQ making it a work of art.

  19. i think more ‘normal people’, aka not red head hicks, would consider this more autistic that artistic. any car/motorbike sounds better than that and burns rubber way better :S i mean seriously!! he like the sound of _little_ engines. he didn’t even make it _sound_ like a big one :O this belongs on the_daily_wtf not hack_a_day.
    where’s the links to the knowledge we so adore? that’s what people come here for. not this err… well ‘art’ is the only thing that has a vague enough description to let this slide in really!!!
    ps maybe the poster meant to link to the person who did the etching on the chainsaw not this err…??? as a ‘visual indulgence designer’ and ‘object manipulation and creation specilest’ i refuse to be associated with this ‘art’ thing. both things that i do take ‘skill’ and ‘knowledge’.

  20. This is not a hack. Some guy modified some tools for his art project… and didn’t leave instructions that we could tinker with.

    Is that what this site is about these days?
    Worthless slashdot news items?

    We do not come here to read it like it’s the short opinion site. We come here to see exactly what a hack is, how it is done, how it applies to our appliances and then modify the hacks presented.

    What is with all this news-like horse crap?

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