We leave Houston on Monday and will aim the bus North. Be sure to keep checking back for updates as the real fun begins — linking up with artists and develop new exhibitions in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, — and if you see us on the road HONK long and loud!
The Phase Two changes have been happening so fast that we’ve not been able to keep up with them. The latest (and greatest) comes from our friend Dual who gave the bus a much needed exterior makeover. Glamour shots will follow, but here are a few Cargo Space selfies to whet your appetite.
The Cargo Space has received its shots, a new windshield wiper motor, and has been certified road safe and ready for another year. It was the expected result, but it’s still nice to hear. A week or ten days, at the outside, should see us on the road, with a complete suite of living necessities - water, power, and furniture. The to-do list is short and includes the house air conditioner, re-hanging the curtains, and the addition of some wood trim.
Although we have running water in the shower, there’s no sink in our lavatory (at least not in this phase ). The solution that we’ve landed on is to build an old-fashioned wash stand.
Ours is in-progress. It will occupy less space than the above example, but will have everything we need.
Once a hole is cut in the top — to hold the enameled wash basin — we’ll attach the top to the base. The base will hold a glass gallon jug of fresh water.
Although you can’t see it, the base is slatted to allow any spillage to drain away, rather than stand. The top will be cantilevered over the base, allowing a little elbow room, and will get braced once the top is attached. Hooks will hold hand towels. Of course, when it’s done, the whole thing will be bolted to the bulkhead and the floor. It’s slight, but a practical and solid solution.
Three States, 3000 miles. First official stop, The Poor Farm
As we finalize all systems for go, we should start talking about where we’re headed. Our first official stop is at The Great Poor Farm Experiment in Wisconsin. Brainchild of Brad Killam and Michelle Grabner, the Poor Farm is a rural arts center that takes after the German kunsthalle. We’re pleased to be working with Bad at Sports while we’re there, providing a base of operations for them to do their arts podcast, and maybe even some broadcasting.
Check back often, we roll out details on some (what we think are) really interesting projects, with some (what we know are) great institutions in the midwest!
Starting on Tuesday, our lives will be filled with crawling around the bus as we work on the plumbing. Cribbed from the internet, we’ve adapted this plumbing diagram for our needs. We’re taking a chance with a new (14 years old) kind of trap for our drains. Traditional P traps are problematic on RVs as the water seal has a tendency to slosh out of the trap during travel. The HEPVO is a waterless trap. We’re banking on it doing its job. It comes highly recommended, but opinions are like elbows… See how we brought that back around? It’s our first plumbing joke! Don’t expect too many more, as we imagine that our humor will vanish as the plumbing work intensifies…
We’ve invented a new piece of furniture just for the Cargo Space. It’s a variation on the secretary desk, a fairly common piece of furniture, distinctive for its fold-down desk. Wall-mounted secretaries appeared in the early 20th century, and providing utility without taking up floor space. Sheet metal, wall-mounted secretary desks are still in use, primarily on shop and factory floors.
A wall-mounted secretary is the perfect solution for our need for a private workspace in the rear cabin. However, in a 27,000 lb. steel projectile traveling at upwards of 70 mph, a desk with a flip down top isn’t a good idea. One panic stop and the desk contents will be thrown against the rear wall. Enter the SLIDING Secretary…
The face of the Sliding Secretary slides up (hence the name) and out, to be slotted in below, forming the desktop. (FYI - the desk pictured still needs a final sanding and finishing, or probably paint)
At 24” wide and 16” tall our Sliding Secretary is roomy enough, when deployed, to allow for a laptop and a Topo Chico. The cross piece in the interior holds a laptop, papers, and an ipad. (Topo Chico goes in the fridge). An extra advantage of the Sliding Secretary is there’s no hardware involved, no hinges to break or latches to fail.
Admire it all you like, drink it in, but the plans are NOT available. This is our idea. :-) If you copy it, and try to market it for your own benefit, we’ll find you, embarrass you publicly, and then own your house. Eventually we’ll get around to licensing the Sliding Secretary. Ikea, if you want the Sliding Secretary, our email address is listed on this site. Drop us a line.
As the fully wired “SHURFLO” pump indicates, we’re one hole saw away from closing out the house electrics. As soon as we can locate the right size saw blade, we’ll pierce the side of the bus to install the 30 amp plug. Everything is wired. In a 20’ x 7.5’ living space, one outlet every four feet feel luxurious.
As we near our departure date for the midwest, we’re also sweetening the interior a bit more with the addition of a wall-mounted desk for the captain’s cabin.
Ours will be a little skinner, but no less useful. Open or closed, it will hold a laptop, iPad, pens, maps and papers. The secretary desk is a clever, and relatively old, space-saving solution. The hinges are the typical weakness in existing secretary desk designs. There’s a limit to the amount of weight fold down desks can hold. However, we think we have a solution to the problem. Watch for it later this week. We’ll also build lavatory and cabin doors, as we dither for just a little bit longer before finally, finally installing the plumbing (insert dramatic sting music). And we’re still planning to repaint the bus. We’ve only got so many hands!
The Cargo Space is purring along, despite what you might think. Rain, our great, mortal enemy, along with endless paperwork, our other great, mortal enemy, has caused so many delays that not working on the bus is currently the standard order of business. A few more weeks and we’ll be clear of rain and paper. We’ll necessarily accelerate as we prepare for the Great Lakes Tour that kicks off in July, and is still adding cities.
In the meantime, while you wait for news on the intrepid Cargo Space, buy our book!
There's more to life than books, you know. But not much more.
The Cargo Space book is now available on Amazon.com. Run, don’t walk, to your nearest internet to get your copy of this sleek tome. Curious about the contents? Use the Look Inside feature to get a glimpse. [hint: it’s full of stars]
The first Cargo Space book is available for purchase now, and is coming soon to an Amazon.com or an Amazon.co.uk near you!
Cargo Space 77001>74103 is 40 pages of texts and full color images documenting the first Cargo Space exhibition, as well as a timeline of the Cargo Space project from its inception until about 2 months ago.
Don’t let the on-demand thing fool you. This book is gorgeous, even if we do say so ourselves.
"It’s just a ride, and we can change it anytime we want." - Bill Hicks
Comedian Bill Hicks died 20 years ago today. To mark his passing, we’ve asked Houston artist DUAL to paint a few of the things Mr. Hicks said (the ones safe for broad public consumption) around the outside of the Cargo Space, transforming the bus into a rolling memorial to Hicks as prescient truth-teller and adopted son of Houston.
We’ll present the new paint scheme to the pubic on Thursday, March 27, to coincide with the closing reception of DUAL’s exhibition at Rice’s Emergency Room gallery. You’re all invited, naturally. We’ll kick off at 7PM and carry on for several hours.
In the meantime, if you want to help us to get the bus ready for a new coat of paint, shoot us an email. Of course you always can see updates on the project right here at thecargospace.com