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Join the Circus

Some of you may already be aware of this, but this year I am participating in Grand Rapids’ Artprize competition along with Bethalynne Bajema, Ted Jauw, Kate Jauw, Bethany Greenier, John Hyatt, and Cassie Truskowski, with our combined work CirqueACirca.

We are putting together a work of art nearly the size of two football fields (a very ambitious project for a couple of artists with less than two nickles to rub together). This work will be a huge undertaking to say the least, and will include circus and sideshow performance art, among many many other things.

We hope that it will become a gathering point for steampunks and other like-minded individuals during the competition, in a joint effort with the SteamPig display and several other steampunk exhibits through the vast art competition (over 200,000 visitors last year). Our space will have a lot of room to rest your feet and hang out, and costumed up visitors add the the feel of the piece.

We hope that you will help out by being there September 25th (the main gathering date), or any date between September 22nd through October 10th.

If you would like to more actively participate and help out, there are *MANY* ways to do so – from helping us starving artists to starve a bit less, to easing the strain of gathering materials for this huge project (we hope to use as much recycled material as possible), to lending a physical hand on the build, or just getting the word out for us (because every person you know may know someone interested, or the people they know might know someone interested).

Please link to us in your blogs, facebook accounts, myspace, twitter, or otherwise… because popular makes popular these days, and the more people our message reaches, the greater we can make this event.

Cirque A Circa Poster by Bethalynne BajemaArtists: Those of you with a creative touch to help with painting and set up. It could be anything from plain flat painting to helping with the mural.

Roustabouts: Help during the event. Answer visitors questions, help with merchants/artists needs, etc.

Carnies: Merchants who share our vibe and intent may rent tents to sell wares.

Players: We need people to dress up in a steampunk or circus fashion and just walk around while adding to the vibe!

Buskers: Do you have a fun talent to share? Juggler, stilt-walker, etc.? We have a place for you in Buskers Alley.

Oddities: Do you have a very unusual art to share? We have a place for you to create and show off your talent.

Stowaways: The price for your passage is to help keep our ship clean! We will need people to keep an eye out for loose ties or malfunctions, pick up trash, make sure signage is still in place, etc.

Acts: Looking for acts willing to work with us to develop great shows and have an opportunity to show off your stuff.

And the rest: Did we fail to mention something? Let us know! There is a place for you in our circus!

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Gargantuan War Machines: Airborne Carriers and Giant Robots

Giant Gundam via <a href=

The 59-foot-tall Gundam in Tokyo is now finished, surely developed as a countermeasure against the China’s recent development of flying aircraft carriers such as those reportedly seen on google maps in a lake near Shanghai (below) and that reported in the China Military Report, best described by others as a ripoff of the Giant Helicarrier from SHIELD (second below).

Mysterious Aircraft carrier in lake seen near Shanghai
Mysterious Aircraft carrier in lake seen near Shanghai via The Register
Giant HeliCarrier as Illustrated within China Military Report
Giant HeliCarrier as Illustrated within China Military Report

Still, these are not as impressive or elegant as the airborne aircraft carriers of history, such as the USS Macon or her sister ship the USS Akron, which, sadly, crashed off the coast of New Jersey on April 4th 1933, killing 73 crew and passengers.

Macon over Manhattan
Macon over Manhattan
USS Macon mockup presented as web advertising for the National Geographic Special
USS Macon mockup presented as web advertising for the National Geographic Special: Flying Aircraft Carrier – Image copyright National Geographic Online.

The Wonder that was the USS Macon, and her demise, will be the subject of a special airing on National Geographic on Saturday August 1st at 3PM.

Additionally, a great picture of the Akron can be found <a href=””>here</a> at the Gatehouse