Shared Propulsion Car

Michel de Broin | Shared Propulsion Car

Michel de Broin | Shared Propulsion Car

Michel de Broin | Shared Propulsion Car

Michel de Broin | Shared Propulsion Car


Modified automobile body, pedals, seats and candles

430 x 160 x 120 cm

All the parts of a Buick Regal 1986 deemed to be superfluous— engine, suspension, transmission, electrical system—were removed to reduce the vehicle’s weight to a minimum while keeping its appearance.  The body was then equipped with a mechanical system made up of four autonomous pairs of pedals, enabling the passengers to form a self-propelling group.  A transmission was created in order to transmit the power generated by the passengers to the driving wheels and to provide gears in order to ensure that they are engaged in sequence when starting up. With this modified car, capable of reaching up to 15 km/hour, resistance to the culture of performance has been taken to an unprecedented level.

The video below shows the driver of  Shared Propulsion Car being pulled over by Toronto Police on Queen Street West in Toronto. The revolutionary vehicle provides the illusion of the mass-produced luxury automobile, but is now reduced to a shell. This unique car needs no petrol, produces no toxic emission and is not responsible for the innocent people killed for petrol in the Middle East. Furthermore, in this individualist society, this convivial car was proposed as a good solution to bring people together and take over the street. Dean Baldwin, the driver, took the steering wheel with his fellows Elaine, Dave and Dan and drove the car smoothly on the streets. The public was enthusiastic, and sympathized with the drivers. They drove nine blocks, from Lisgar to Strachan, before being pulled over by the police.

They had to wait for 30 minutes in the car, while the policemen tried to determine exactly which law was transgressed. They settled on "operating an unsafe vehicle" and a tow-truck was called.

Shared Propulsion Car, 2005
Hell’s Kitchen NYC, 2:48

Shared Propulsion Car, 2007
Toronto, 3:48
Michel de Broin (direction), Dave Dyment (curator), Benny Zenga (camera), Mercer Union, Dean Baldwin