The Body of Bolts
A Chaotic Sound Generator of Human Devolution

by: Jim Mason, Maribeth Back, Peef, Josh, Dodger, Liam, Jen Clemente, Jon Sarriagarte, and others

but NOT Max Bunshaft, John Devenizia, Girlmark, Charlie Gadeken and other enemies of art
. . . ;-)

How to Destroy the Universe Festival, Aug 6-7, 2004

A fire/ice/sound installation involving a super-human-size body of ice held in suspended animation 10 feet above resonant sheets of amplified stainless steel. Frozen inside the ice body was an assortment of nuts, bolts, pulleys, gears, sprockets chains and other mechanical devices- debris which randomly fell out of the ice onto the sufaces below as the body melted.

The result was a cacophonous and chaotic sound generation machine driven by the slow devolution of human body to water and industrial bones. The ice body was porous so flammables could pass through and around it, internally illuminating the ice, as well as speeding the melting process.

Building it

Installing it against the clock (while defending against the enemy)

Unveiling and Destroying

The Story



BERKELEY– In a performance art piece under the gun, JIMMY (THE CHAIN) MASON, of San Francisco, California achieved what local betters set as a long shot. With just two minutes to spare official art judges and timekeepers conferred with hipster-bookie Ryon Gesink and concluded that the art piece dubbed Melting Man achieved true art status before the Saturday Midnight deadline.

Sources state that Jim’s path to achieving this 2:1 longshot was beset by what could best be described as demons. Starting 48 hours before the deadline, these demons were of the standard internal and expected sort– sloth, pride, and gluttony. As the deadline approached, however, the demons took on physical manifestations and smallish imps were observed flying about Jimmie the Chain’s head in the final 45 minutes of assembly and placement of the vaguely human shaped melting sculpture of ice cubes and metal parts. In addition to the tangible distractions, Mr. Mason was seen to be responding to auditory and visual hallucinations up to the point of swinging his trademarked chain in a narcissistic rage at the gathered crowd of volunteers, well-wishers, and art enthusiasts.

Upon horizontal erection of the icy creation which was suspended by his fetishistic chains over a narrow alley at the Shipyard, James “The Torch” Mason attacked his work with flamethrowers and a propane torch, bringing about the natural conclusion of the work as fast as possible.

The Chain was observed celebrating his victory over timelines and demons with a ritualistic donning of cow blood and cavorting amongst a crowd swinging cows feet.

Jimmy the Chain has many other aliases and seems to be picking them at an ever-increasing pace. Charges against Jimmy the Chain Mason (AKA “El Jeffe”, “Slumlord Jimmie” and “Cowfoot Karate Kid”) for willful destruction of the Universe, assault with a deadly performance, and littering are still pending investigation. If observed please give this known artist congratulations and a wide berth.

Kiki's Rendition of What Happened

Amacker's Pictures

Mike's Pictures