Coney Island – Site Research & Development

Using the Site Drawing as an incubator for innovation of materials and technology I would like to explore both of these elements in the area of west 21st which is due for regeneration.

Fred Kahl, aka The Great Frendini, has recreated part of Luna Park using 3D printers to bring to life the spatial complexity and wonderment of the park, to a new generation.  His inspiration for creating the 3D installation was Marcel Duchamp’s diorama ‘Xanadu’, which has an element of the thrill yet beautiful sensory experience which Coney Island provided.  A thrill and sensory experience which people who were not able to partake of the ‘Grand Tour’ could enjoy .  I would like to get in touch with Fred Kahl and discuss with him his project and potential for its development.

I would like to make a visit to Dreamland Amusement Park in Margate (which has just reopened after ten years of closure) to gain a sense of atmosphere, investigate what the park means to people, what their memories are, what draws them to the place, and why they return.

I will use the time over the next few weeks to complete outstanding work and compose/build my portfolio.  Research the site in depth, formulate the technology study and carry out the tests on my fired materials.


2 thoughts on “Coney Island – Site Research & Development

  1. Its a good idea to contact Fred Kahl and find out more about the 3d-printed model of Luna Park. I’m sure you’ve seen this but this interview with him is fascinating (not to mention there are some great historic postcards that are documented): – especially when he talks about technology being presented as education, and the fact that his installation is a live museum (of the present!) that expands over the course of its 1 year lifespan. The aspect of coney island being an incubator for manhattan is emphasised by the use of miniatures – the 3d printed version of luna park, Duchamp’s Xanadu diorama – you talk of them as sensory experiences but how do we inhabit and occupy the miniature – what about the very small allows us to experience a place in a portable and very different way? What does it reveal? Plus its got the added dimension of the baby incubator story so although it appears to be a fairground it really was a hotbed for technological innovation. Also its interesting to look at the relationship between the two islands – Manhattan and Coney Island – read Gilles Deleuze and what he says about islands for more context: but something about the island suggests introversion and incubation – how do you emphasise the island-ness of the place and its relationship to its mirror or counterpart of Manhattan? Lots of things to tease out in your drawing and its overall composition!

    1. Hi, thanks for the comments. I I had uploaded all my development work under the heading Coade Visit & Clay making and also Re-iteration of Site Drawing-Coney Island prior to this post. Sorry I did three separate posts. I have permission to put the clay masters into the kiln on Monday, but the post shows all of my mould making and press moulding.

      My other post was the ‘rough’ draft idea for the next iteration of my drawing, I had been working in the office on Wednesday and Thursday so was not able to progress further than the draft. However, the draft does detail (if not clear) what I am aiming to bring out in the drawing in addition to what we discussed on Tuesday.
      I have seen the interview of Fred Kahl but I think he has progressed the model since that was done so I wanted to see what his plans are to develop the model further and how he thinks it can inspire the new generation. The 3d installation has opened this year in Coney Island Museum but he intends to add to it.
      Today I also contacted a lady called Beth Allen who was a premature baby living in an incubator within the Luna Park baby incubator hospital in 1941. She got back in touch this evening and has given me a link to an interview she gave about her memories of Coney Island and what it means to her, and permission to use images of her within my drawing.
      Any additional comments on my earlier posts would be helpful. Many thanks. Maggie

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