Glowmobile addresses concepts of accessibility, commodity and functionality through an object of personal and cultural significance. Throughout rural communities in the upper Midwest it is common to find vehicles being sold on front lawns. The original exhibition of Glowmobile was to create a sculpture to be displayed on a small town front lawn, referencing rural sales activities while creating an accessible exhibition space. The piece was first displayed at ARThouse in New London, Minnesota.
Painting the snowmobile white references classic sculptural materials, marble or plaster while simultaneously isolating details in the design. The primer white coating of the vehicle also suggests more recent contemporary work, in particular Los Angeles artist Charles Ray’s piece Untitled at the Walker Art Center. A phosphorescent paint is added on top of the white primer finish. At sunset, the paint glows with an eerie otherworldly presence. Through the glow-in-the-dark paint the snowmobile becomes active again, a new functionally emerges through the destruction of the original purpose. However, the activity is quiet and contemplative rather than spewing noise and air polluting residue, as a vehicle of its vintage would if used as intended. It is not a static art object for its ability to glow allows for greater accessibility and provides the unexpected “hook” for viewers.