Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, March 7, 2016

Fort Mason Has a Remote-Controlled, Life-Size El Camino

Posted By on Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM

click to enlarge A past installation piece - TRA BOUSCAREN
  • Tra Bouscaren
  • A past installation piece

Now that the Fort Mason Center has become the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture (FMCAC), it's focusing a lot more on the arts and culture part. To make proper use of its panoply of beautiful old buildings — hello, bay-front Firehouse! — FMCAC has launched a curated series of events and site-specific exhibitions that showcase some pretty cool projects.

Including a remote-controlled, life-size 1959 El Camino.

click to enlarge Maria del Carmino - BRUCE TOMB
  • Bruce Tomb
  • Maria del Carmino

San Francisco artist Bruce Tomb built it and it is named Maria Del Camino. Originally a Playa art car that grew out of postwar Detroit's failure to put a flying vehicle in every American garage, Maria is a reference to the False Maria/Machine Man from Metropolis. Tomb has continually updated the work since 2010, when the car-slash-heavy-earthmoving-equipment could only handle speeds of two miles per hour, but now she can "fly" nine feet up, guided by a smartphone. 

Maria del Camino lives in deep storage most of the time, so this is a rare treat (particularly for people who don't routinely get to the Black Rock Desert). On opening night of FMCAC's week-long Fort Nights: Neon Robot Iceberg (Saturday, March 26), you can hang out with Maria as well as with some 20 other artists' work, including Vince Koloski's crop circle of 50-foot neon lights, and Sean Pace's "Crawler," a retired military vehicle that's become a pop-up factory and lab.

The event is free, there's a bar, and music by SOMArts' Melorra Green, too. The 55,000 square feet that make up FMCAC are criss-crossed with disused railroad tracks that harken back to the facility's original purpose. But now there's an entirely new kind of groove.

Fort Nights: Neon Robot Iceberg, March 26 - April 2,

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"