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According to Starr, the execution of Circulus from idea to track took a few months. Brainstorming started in January of 2010, and the first cut of cardboard for a scale model happened in late Feburary. Motivated not only by building the track the least expensive way possible but also by finishing the project for his graduation in May, the entire design took around three months and involved scale models and full sized sections. If the design sounds smooth and easy, the actual construction was anything but. When asked how long it took to CNC the wooden parts of the track, Starr replied “Forever. I ate caffeine pills like they were breath mints. I had a lot of all night sessions alone in the CNC room. I think it was roughly 36 hours of pure set-up and cutting on the router, and another 48 straight hours in the woodshop doing factory-style assembly-line cuts. Assembly in the woodshop was probably another 48 hours. Most of the time and challenge was dealing with that sheer weight and volume of materials in a limited space, and by myself. I had to think through every single step and situation of materials.”

When the construction of the parts was complete, Starr rounded up some friends and went to work building the track in the Library. Working side by side with friends was a release from the endless hours of solitary design and fabrication work, and the track went up in a few nights. Starr turned the first laps on the track, with his excitement showing in the photos of the night. Circulus was installed in the Mudd Library for two weeks, and was featured in the LA Times.

Going Mobile

This past January I took a look at the atlas, bought a one-way ticket and flew from Portland to LA. There I met up with an old buddy, rented a 24 ft moving truck, and began to track down Circulus. When the installation at Pomona College ended, several sections of Circulus were then part of the “Re:Cycle-Bike Culture in Southern California” show at the Sweeney Art Gallery at UC Riverside. The rest of the track sections were stored under tarps in a backyard near Upland, CA. After retrieving all the parts from the separate locations, loading them all into the truck and enjoying an In-N-Out burger, I caught a few hours of sleep at the home of some friends before driving the 1,000 miles back to Portland solo. When I arrived at our warehouse the next night, about 10 friends were waiting to help me unload the track. I was weary from the road but could tell from their collective excitement that we’d gotten into something big. It would be a few weeks until we found out how big.

Bailey Works