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Duchamp was a modernist, not a retro-grouch(5 posts)

Duchamp was a modernist, not a retro-grouchSpirito di Finocchio
Mar 27, 2002 7:44 PM
question is why didnt he go radial instead of 3x. the wheel was never to be ridden and was for appearance only and im sure radial would have had much more simple elegance.

and i also see that he beat ernesto to the straight fork game by at least 70 years.

3x has its own beautyUncle Tim
Mar 28, 2002 6:51 AM
As one who was temporarily mesmerized by the new "aero/semi-aero" wheelsets with deep section rims, fewer spokes and radial lacing, I think I am getting my perspective back with regards to the simple beauty elicited by the tried and true 3x lacing pattern.

From time to time, I come across cyclists who talk about the wheelsets that they will build or have built for them. They say things like "28 holes with radial on the front, 2x on the non-driveside and 3x only on the driveside rear". In exchange for compromising the strength of the wheel, what tangible benefits will these riders receive? It still has 28 spokes on each wheel. And moving from a stronger 32 hole rim to 28h would result a whopping weight savings of 8 spokes. Wow.

And what are the true advantages of radial and 2x lacing? You still have the same number of spokes, regardless of how many holes you choose. The difference in spoke length cannot make any real difference. And I serious question if scientific testing would demonstrate that radial and 2x lacing offer any noticible aerodynamic benefits - unless you are going really fast.

Duchamp knew what he was doing. Three cross lacing does have a beauty all it's own. The leading spokes kick back across the grain of the trailing spokes, complementing the work of their brothers/sisters in an almost counter-intuitive way. The inherent efficency and strength of this pattern, which is sure to confound the reason of the uninitiated, can never be questioned.

Like the simple and smart beauty at the dance whose elegance is overlooked by those who are easily distracted by flash and makeup, the 3x laced bicycle wheel carries itself with dignity and grace. The artist, knowing this, captures its beauty and strength when the time is right.
re: Duchamp was a modernist, not a retro-grouchharlett
Mar 28, 2002 9:23 AM
as much as duchamp helped in loosening people's consciousness with illogic, the power behind the screen your reading this on has given us the graphical representation to also ease perceptions into a wider regard for artistic expression-

look around-- look from a different perspective--
re: Duchamp was a modernist, not a retro-grouchMikeC
Mar 28, 2002 12:46 PM
That's cool. A stationary wheel with a spinning mount. Riding plays the same game: to the world, we're in motion; to us, the world is. Hmm. I think I'll go lie down now.
Mar 30, 2002 7:15 PM
The aesthetic idea was to take objects out of everyday, mundane life, and hold them up as art, out of context with their environment or utilitarian purpose. I would guess Duchamp found the wheel, fork and stool, and just put the parts together.

Circles and wheels, mandala structures, have been used as symbols of wholeness, balance, completeness, in world religions. Mounted upside down, he could spin the wheel and watch it move around. Wonder if he rode a bike much.