Oakland’s New Mayor Rides in our Snail Art Car

“I think it’s a great symbol of Oakland,
our vitality, our creativity, our secret sauce”
– Libby Schaaf on the Golden Mean Snail Art Car 

Photo by D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group

Photo by D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group

It’s no surprise people are talking about Oakland’s new mayor, Libby Schaaf, but there’s one detail that seems to surprise everyone: her mayoral ride, the Golden Mean. Apparently most political figures don’t travel to their inauguration in a giant snail with flaming eye sockets.

Schaaf and I first connected during the 2013 Oakland mayoral race around West Oakland business. I agreed with Schaaf’s vision for an Oakland that supports artists, makers, and industrial businesses like mine. When she requested the Golden Mean make a campaign event appearance, I was happy to oblige.

When Schaaf won the election, we took a celebratory ride in the Golden Mean. But the greatest honor came with the last request: a ride for Schaaf and her family to her mayoral inauguration. The event was quintessential Oakland: held at the Paramount Theater, the mayor and her family arriving in the Golden Mean, Schaaf’s acceptance speech including “hella”, and protesters reminding everyone of issues to be addressed.

When we first built the Golden Mean in 2008, little did we know it would someday make Oakland history. Working on nights and weekends, the snail car my wife Kyrsten dreamed up was built by her, myself, and our Empire of Dirt crew of artist makers in my West Oakland Form & Reform shop. Since building Golden Mean we’ve made the Electrobite and Serpent Twins, but you’re less likely to see our mayor riding around in them, seeing as they’re not street legal.

madeinoakland-Libby-flyer

Meet the Golden Mean Sunday, January 11, 2015

As part of Schaaf’s inaugural week, the Golden Mean Snail Art Car will soon make another appearance at the public event celebrating the great town of Oakland and it’s makers this Sunday, January 11. We hope you’ll join us for the “Made in Oakland” Inaugural Festival at American Steel in West Oakland from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Press with Libby Schaaf and the Golden Mean

Inauguration
SFGate / SF Chronicle – Libby Schaaf sworn in as Oakland’s 50th mayor
San Francisco Magazine – That Fire-Shooting Snail Car That Mayor Libby Schaaf Keeps Driving Around Oakland Is the Best Thing Ever
Inside Bay Area – Libby Schaaf sworn in as Oakland mayor
Laughing Squid – Oakland, California’s New Mayor Libby Schaaf Rides Snail Art Car To Her Inauguration

Election Victory Celebration
KQED – Video: Libby Schaaf Rides a Giant Mechanical Snail
SF Gate/ SF Chronicle – Libby Schaaf celebrates Oakland mayoral victory: “an awesome city”
SJ Mercury News / Oakland Tribune – Libby Schaaf celebrates decisive victory and ‘Oakland’s awesomeness’
CBS – Quan Concedes Oakland Mayor’s Race; Schaaf Celebrates In Fire-Breathing Snail Car

Golden Mean Snail Art Car
Facebook Fan Page
Instructable / how it was made
Blog: Golden Mean

Recent Golden Mean in Oakland
Popular Mechanics Video – How Oakland Is Becoming Northern California’s Next Great Startup Hub

“It’s hella time for Oakland.”
  – Libby Schaaf, inaugural speech

Snail at Oakland Art Murmur

Zolie and her Cousin Stellan shooting fire from the Golden Mean Snail car.

Great story at the East Bay Monthly

 

Golden Mean on the History Channel Nov 28th 2011

Last Spring we shot an episode of Modern Marvels called Weird Machines for the History Channel. I features both The Golden Mean Giant Iron Snail Car and our restored 1920’s Hogan Tesla Coil and is set to air Nov 28th, 2011.

Check your local listings for air times.

Railroad Revival Tour… Oakland

The Railroad Revival Tour with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Mumford & Sons, and Old Crow Medicine Show, started its first journey last Thursday with a concert in our corner of West Oakland. The Golden Mean and the crew got a chance to perform and see the show and what a hoot it was!
Great to meet some of the band members and play with the kids. We all throughly enjoyed a relaxing show with a great promotion company, music crew and audience. Great day!

More pictures

Old Crow Medicine Show

Wish we could have seen more of this band. Their music has been the sound track to the Snail car and the Front Porch for the last 2 years! Next time this tour happens they need to hook up a few flat beds to the train for us to take our toys on!

 

Happy Birthday Lydia! Wish I was still 22!

Zolie Kyrsten & I on the Golden Mean enjoying a beautiful sunset over San Francisco bay from the lower bottoms of West Oakland

 

Beyond Wonderland 2011

Beyond Wonderland 2011

Great to be back for our 3rd show with Insomniac! Lots of familiar faces and a warm welcome for the snail and crew! This year we brought our new remote fired flame ball and let the crowd light up the night sky to warm the rest of us. I always enjoy seeing people smile when they realize they just made that huge fireball. Meet up with some great DJ’s and even got to hang out with Paris Hilton!

John in his steampunk finest letting the girls shoot fire balls.

More pictures

Each one of these fire balls shoots a different shape. Disk, ball and a ring.

The die hard fans waited in line to get a turn at shooting the fire from the snail. Lots of smiles.

 

 

 

IDEO Party

IDEO Holiday Party in SF 2011

The Boiler Bar crew got a chance to show off our toys and bars at IDEO party this weekend. Great event and lots of great people. So fun to hang out with such creative people. Great costumes, and the sets they made for us were over the top! Events like these remind me why I moved to the bay area and stayed!  Hope to do more with the people I met last night.

My pictures

Kyrsten and Emily

You don’t have a giant Iron snail in your living room?

KSW video from last weekend

Here is a great video from last weekends KSW event

Handicraft Magazine Article “Steel Dreams”

Handicraft Magazine out of China did a story about my work.

Wish I could read it. Love the coloration they did to my pictures.

Duncan/Channon 20th Anniversary

Duncan/Channon 20th Anniversary

Big thanks to D/C for letting us warm the the smiles from everyone who shot fire from a Giant Iron Snail!

I just love to see full grown adults turn 10years old again in seconds!

More pictures

D/C pictures

See she is 10 again!

Andy Berkenfield aglow with fire!

Bob Duncan introducing Terry Adams Rock n Roll Quartet

Terry Adams Rock n Roll Quartet

I loved watching his hands mash the keys with so much energy you’d think only disjointed noise could come from what I saw, but my ears could hear wondrous music. I was mesmerized!

Extra Action Marching Band

You have to love the drill team!

Golden Mean “contribute very little to society at large”

Vice wrote a article about Burning Man.

HIPPIES IN THE DESERT

26.10.2010

Last month, for some reason, Vito Fun decided to make a pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to mingle with people who eschew contemporary hygiene practices, refer to smoking weed as “blazing,” and generally contribute very little to society at large. Somehow, Vito was able to get some nice photos out of the whole affair.

Photos by Vito Fun

Read the rest at Vice Magazine: Vice Magazine | Event & Party Photos

http://www.viceland.com/blogs/photos/2010/10/26/hippies-in-the-desert/

Haley Duke I was more offended by their boldness of, ‘and generally contribute very little to society at large.’ WTF do vicers do that’s so damn honorable?

Hoping to run into them soon.

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