Recycled Pallet Installations

recycled pallet castle

Last month we worked on a large project with Blacktown Council’s Sustainability team, creating a space for people to gather within and be inspired about a future where waste is seen in a different light.

We transformed 50 discarded wooden pallets into a living Castle by the lake for the annual Blacktown Medieval Fayre. In this first installation, the pallets featured native grasses in the tin-can turrets, and was staunchly guarded by knights in shining armour. Milk bottle water lilies floated in the lake and the wee medieval windows framed vantages of the jousting beyond with old bicycle tyres.

recycled pallet castle knight

Following this beautiful weekend event install, we re-errected the pallets in the fore-court of the Blacktown Arts Centre, in a semi-permanent installation for 4 months! The installation is functioning as the venue for the current Pop Up Garden Club, which the council is running with locals to learn about gardening! Anyone can join in… visit this LINK to get involved: Pop Up Garden Club – Blacktown City Council

Milkcrate Events pallet courtyard blacktown pop up garden

It was a real pleasure to re-work this installation into a different context, for a more permanent set-up. The Pallet’s will be  with us to help breath further life into this beautiful creation made from items doomed for the tip or recycling plants around the world.

 

 

Milkcrate Events sculpture milk bottles

Earth Hour Picnic @ Lalor Park

Earth Hour was celebrated with real community spirit last weekend in Sydney’s Western Suburb of Lalor Park. This year’s theme was ‘Appetite for Change: A journey from planet to plate”, so it was fitting that a picnic fair for the locals was held by the Lalor Park Community Garden together with Blacktown City Council.

milk bottle sculpture reuse interactive

The Council booked Milkcrate to provide additional entertainment and art at the event, with a sustainable and participatory focus.  Amid plant and fruit give-aways, rugs on the grass and hundreds of face-painted kids, you could see our our bicycle powered ‘Earth’ sculpture spinning in the centre of the rotunda, in the beautiful grounds at Chifley Park. The work was made using over two hundred 2 litre plastic milk bottles, and bottle caps. The orb rotates with increasing speed when powered up and flashes rainbow when it gets dark.

bicycle powered sculpture kids activity

The installation was popular with people of all ages. Some of the older people stood around the outside of the rotunda watching the kids line up for a turn on the bicycle to make the ‘disco ball’ spin and light up. We also set up our trusty milk bottle lights, and invited kids to take a freshly cleaned milk bottle and draw pictures on the sides of it of somethings “that they can grow and eat”. Their interpretations were a diverse garden of produce!

milk bottle art

The event was a joy to be at, with lots of inspiring stalls and inspired attendees. Way to go Blacktown! We hope that other Council’s will follow from this and other similar initiatives and help make these sorts of community gatherings regular occurrences.

bicycle powered sculpture sustainable

More photos and details of the event at I Love Blacktown’s Facebook Page!

Environmentally Sustainable Festival Stage Design

Imagine a future where waste materials light up our parties, and the sun powers our sound systems… At this year’s Regrowth Festival, we brought our imaginations to life with a Tree of Life and a grove of mushrooms constructed from used milk bottles, hammocks made from old bicycle tyres, CD mandalas, and a magnificent orb sculpture made from 250 tetra packs. These are just some of the many artworks which helped to make ACACIA at Regrowth Festival 2015 a space which inspires a future of sustainability in others, and for green festivals globally.

With a mixture of art and technology, ACACIA speaks to event participants through the use of familiar waste materials from their lives, re-imagined by our team of artists; providing an ultimate doof landscape for dancing and chilling out. It was an important goal for us to incorporate organic elements into the overall stage design, acknowledging the outdoor setting and the principles of Regrowth Festival. We achieved this though the use of lichen hanging over the D-floor, art works woven into the tree’s surrounding the space, and front and centre is our durable munter-fence, to seperate the crowd from the performers; an old climbing fig salvaged from the wall of a Sydney pub.

The stage structure itself was designed and constructed by us, for last year‘s festival. We were able to build on our work in 2014 to make this year’s show a more integrated space through the way we used technology, lighting and art. We were very glad to collaborate with the team at ANAMORPHIC PHOTONICS to install programmable LEDs in all the artworks and spaces around the dance floor, as well as the stage itself. The canopy projections combined with the lazers and lighting show to create an incredibly encompassing night time rave effect, moving with the grooving punters.

The stage itself was programmed and amplified by GROUNDED SOUND. These guys also put in extra love to power the speakers from our new solar rig, to increase our reliance on the free energy from Australia’s biggest natural resource: the Sun.

Environmental sustainability is the core of our mission here at Milkcrate Events; and we are proud to be helping to build a creative community of artists, engineers, builders and tech-heads who are committed to projecting a positive future around sustainability, and reaching audiences to convey our hopes and dreams in an accessible and interactive way.

Check out the photos of the whole shebang from KUVEX below, and watch out for our next project!

 

Its Not Wasted Yet

milk bottle recycled ring pulls art decor

Below the surface there is a growing movement that challenges the modern apathetic attitude to life and seeks to counter this through ideas like reuse, people power, prioritising environment over industry, using efficient technology, and implementing permaculture principles (this list could go on forever!).
We seek a better quality of life with a much lower impact on Nature, and we are creating ripples in the pond and the pond is resonating with our vibrations.
++ Ring pulls from tin cans, the bottoms of 2 litre plastic milk bottles, packing tape, pallet wrap, silver paper from Reverse Garbage, cable ties

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I don’t often write posts in the first person, but this one is a special occasion. So here I am. I’m known to many as Sharky, and I’m the lead artist behind Milkcrate Events.

I’m stubborn in my drive to make art meaningful and to make a lasting impact on audiences through public events and participatory experiences, and I recently teamed up with another crew to help raise awareness about the destruction of our land and pollution and dissemination of our waterways due to mining. Locally its happening in our very own Sydney water catchment. I put on an exhibition to raise awareness specifically about the  Leard forest blockade and to create a platform for us to hear more about the concept of Divestment and how it works.

recycled art garden elephant

These Aloe Vera plants are pups of one of the oldest plants in my garden. These plants are quite drought resistant so they never die, and keep multiplying and shooting off new babies, that I separate and share with friends. Its the best treatment for sunburn and also good in smoothies.

So I made some art and we had some excellent speakers come and tell us all about the fucked up situation in Queensland where there is no hope left and the miners are taking over, and that all our efforts should be focused on stopping the same thing happen here in NSW… The divestment idea was new to me and a lot of over folks and as a result of the exhibition some of my friends have divested… and its spreading.

Egg Carton Optical Illusion recycled bottle caps

Out Of Our Depth: We are loosing control of one of our basic human rights: our right to clean drinking water.
Right before our eyes, our clean water resources are diminishing with mining companies sucking at our water tables across the country, access to water is being privatised and our catchments are being polluted by the CSG industry, and the basic human right has become a corporate commodity. Water is our most precious resource, and we really have to fight the industry before there’s nothing left to fight over.

The event was a lovely occasion, with locally brewed beer, and organic wines from Ascella in the Hunter Valley, while local DJs played tunes, and we put the bicycle tyre hammocks to good use, with the trashy jellyfish floating and fading through colours beside us.

Future Of Blame Art

Future of Blame at the loo roll dj table

I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to transform the space and make it a beautiful wonderland that hopefully inspires folks in some way, and I’m glad that it wasn’t just about the art… there’s too much going on that matters for art to be just about art’s sake these days… Keep in touch with the idea of divestment, check out the Market Forces website and also tell the miners to frack off!

plastic bottle art garden lids elephant aloephant

Aloe-phant

milk bottle led lights art sharky milkcrate

Within Our Reach: The future we are looking for is just there…Look out for the colourful flashing tunnels in life and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with new and amazing possibilities!= Milk bottles, electrical conduit, LED strip light.

The Efficient Grounded Sound

 

If you’ve been to this site before then you know that we have been regularly setting up our bicycle generators to power a phat sound system. If this is news to you, then there’s a wee vid below of one of these moments! Due to the nature of bicycle power, it is crucial the the equipment used is as efficient as possible, and the Grounded crew have sorted us out. Clever design and sweet new technology are essential so that precious human energy doesn’t go to waste powering dinosaur-age equipment.

Luckily, we have collaborated with a crew who take efficiency very seriously, and they operate no ordinary sound system. The Grounded System was built in Sydney by a crew of mega talented audio and construction nerds, and it is fast gaining a reputation for producing the best bass music in town.The speaker boxes have been hand made with efficiency in mind, and have a horn built in them which would stretch out to 3m if unwrapped! These ‘tapped’ horns produce lovely bass frequencies that are definitely worth pedaling for.

The Grounded Sound crew run a sweet set up and we are super excited that their website has finally been launched and that we can share them with the wwworld! Big Ups to all the folk who have supported them on the dancefloor and on the journey that has resulted in a big stack of banging boxes. We look forward to powering the full Grounded system with (many more) bicycle generators one day soon!

In the meantime, look out for our collaborations during street marches and laneway parties! Our next big fresh gig is on the 27th of September in Sydney central as part of the Surry Hills Festival.  Keep an eye out for a bicycle powered science party… it will be an explosion not to miss!

milk bottle sculpture school project

The Milk Bottle Eiffel Tower

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We went down to Cowra last week to help St Raphael’s Primary School build a 4m tall Eiffel Tower, to complement their “Passport To Paris” themed Art Show.

The whole school collected and cleaned 400 milk bottles in the months leading up the build. The year 3’s and year 4’s took it in turns to spend a few hours with the Milkcrate team and work together to construct the structure.

We were very impressed with the way the students took initiative and came up with additional design ideas (using primarily milk bottle bits) to complement our basic design. The students worked together over 2 days to get the tower standing up and then lighting up from the inside with LED strip lights!2014-08-11 12.21.45-1 2014-08-12 16.22.19

Bicycle Powered La Lune

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Kids know what they like. And what they like is interactive art! We incorporated this premise with some subtle sustainability education through reuse, and energy generation… and there you go: Sweet art that needs audience participation to bling!

milk bottle light sculpture

Little kids aren’t shy about getting the primo vantage of the sculpture!

We were recently asked to contribute some interactive installations to the first La Lune exhibition; a night time sculpture walk up Long Reef Headland free to the public and run by Warringah Council.

Pics and Video:

projector02 projector01 bike-sculpture-la-lune-02

The Temple of Reuse

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Over the past year we have developed our milk bottle lights into a free standing, colour changing installation which event participants can sit inside of and that is available for hire at local events. We are calling it our Temple of Reuse!

light sculpture made from milk bottles

The Temple of Reuse has been installed at various outside events and held up tall against winds. It is also able to be erected inside, as it is free-standing and does not need to be secured into the ground.

milkcrate milk bottle beach installation

It is available in multiple configurations – to suit events of all kinds. In it’s smallest configuration, the lights can be powered by a single bike generator. Our design can expand to whatever floor-space required… give us a challenge!

Bicycle powered sound system milk bottle light installation

Skunkworks Gallery

 

Video of the first time we set it up at the light exhibition: ‘In The Night Garden’, St Peters:

Noise Exposure

An exciting new event has been happening in Sydney’s Inner West!

Noise Exposure is a live musical performance held in the acoustic delight that is St Luke Church in Newtown, where participants hear sounds which take them to another place. Milkcrate Events provide cinema lounge bean bags so that everyone is comfortable enough to let go and travel to that other place. Blindfolds are also available for complete immersion!

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Last weekend the performance was put on through the Kinetic Jazz Festival and featured Clocks and Clouds; a project by musican’s Kraig Grady and Terumi Narushima. This performance has been touted as one of their best received concerts, ever. Clocks and Clouds is an acoustic performance which features a specially re-tuned vibraphone and a pump organ. These unique instruments, with their pure harmonic tuning, explore the beauty of room resonances via ancient sacred scales and multi-dimensional geometries. Their website provides info on their upcoming performances if you are now interested in attending one.

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Sircle Decor

Beautiful bunting decor for performance

On April 12 we were invited to decor the Paddington Uniting Church Hall for a special fundraising event called Sircle in aid of the TARANGA HOUSE TEXTILES PROJECT. This is an exciting not for profit venture that seeks to empower the women of Yoff, Senegal by providing safe, sustainable and creative employment!

Milkcrate Events provided and installed the unique bunting and our special milk bottle light festooning to brighten up the Hall.

Milkcrate_Decor_Sircle06

 

The event was a big colourful success, and featured many high energy dance performances and music from around the world. If you missed out, stay tuned for the next edition; coming soon!

Milkcrate_Decor_Sircle02 Milkcrate_Decor_Sircle04 Milkcrate_Decor_Sircle03

These beautiful photos are taken by the very talented local photographer Juls Ibenez.

More pics of the performances via facecrack here!

Creative Reuse Workshops

creative reuse by kids

“Cool” and “Awesome”.

That was the response we received from a few of the kids who attended our recent Waste 2 Art workshop in Cowra, organised by the Cowra City Council.

kids reusing milk bottles for art

Kids arting up some milk bottles

Each of the kids made their own awesome upcycled artwork to enter into the local Recycled Art Awards. During this process the students learned that Reuse comes before Recycling, and that Reuse is an excellent catalyst for our creativity.

reuse art plastic drum

We provided each of the students with a 20 litre translucent plastic drum which came from the local Materials Recycling Facility, and a huge collection of other waste material such as bottle caps, lids, ring pulls, and plastic packaging.

Cowra_Reuse_01

With the assistance of glue, tape and paint the students transformed these into their own Picasso-esque head, and then inserted colour changing LED lights into the drum, which can be triggered with a small remote!

led lights in upcycled art with remote

So, in conclusion, artworks made from rubbish are cool and awesome because the works are a relevant creative response to our current global situation as well as being practical and very disco… and there are also some sustainability lessons in there too!

kids reuse giraffe art

Waste 2 Art Workshop

Milkcrate will be heading to Cowra in a few weeks, where we will be hosting a two-day workshop Waste2Art workshop for children, as part of the Recycled Art for Cowra Awards during the school holidays. Below are some pictures of the projects we made to illustrate to the kids what they can do with rubbish! We look forward to sharing their imaginative creations with you in a month’s time.

plastic bottles reused for art

The workshop aims to inspire youth in how to think creatively and to re-use products to make their own sculptures.
Milkcrate will provide guidance, tools, and materials for kids to make their own
3D light sculpture (resembling a modern Picasso) that can be entered in this year’s RAFCA awards whose theme this year is “Functional, Fantastic and Fun”.
The awards this year will feature childrens’ works with judging on Friday, May 2
at Cowra Aquatic Centre.

For more information, contact Cowra Council on 6340 2039.

picasso bottle heads in production

bike power in victoria park

NSW Policeman joins the bike power revolution

Seeing is believing on this one:

nsw policeman pedals the bicycle generator in crowd of happy people

We set up 4 bicycle generators to power a sound system in Victoria Park following the March In March recently, otherwise known to our PM as the St Patrick’s Day Parade. We have set up our pedal powered sound system set up dozens of times now, but on this occasion it received the best reception ever. This was in part due to the police officer who joined us, but it was mostly a credit to the attitude of the crowd, who were in good spirits after the March In March, having protested their belief in the power of community who stand together for the diverse range of issues they took to the street.

Our sound set up was entirely running off the energy from the people on the bicycles… so when the legs stop going round ‘n round; the sound dies.

bike power in victoria park

As is often the case in such situations, the local constabulary walked over to have a look at what was going on, and to everyone’s surprise, instead of reporting a noise complaint and asking us to turn the music down, one of the officer’s came over and joined us on one of the bicycles, helping us to generate the power!

The reaction from the crowd was a beautiful thing to watch: for a few moments everyone is seeing something entirely new and can’t quite process it, and 30 seconds later the bubble bursts and folks rush over to get their photo taken with the policeman helping us to make energy for the music.

As our MC says in the microphone: “Big Ups the the NSW Police Yo!” This refreshing experience was made possible through the use of the bicycle generators – they really do bring people together for a good cause.

This is one for the history books and we can’t wait to repeat the experience and shock everyone some more!

Can someone confirm whether this smiley dude was Officer Tyler…?

NSW police rides bike generator

 

 

The beautiful Acacia stage

The ACACIA that doofed together

It’s a doof life. And we bring the Drum ‘n Bass ‘n Dubstep!

We are lucky enough to be a part of the MWA crew who made the ACACIA stage at the  Regrowth Festival a few weeks ago. It is such an awesome experience to be a part of a team of people who all did their very best at what they love to do, and the result was absolutely spectacular and totally original stage that knew how to throw a party!

ACACIA stage at Regrowth Festival 2014

The team at Milkcrate Events designed a super sturdy structure using a very cheaply available resource: steel scaffolding poles and swivel clamps.

The ACACIA skeleton

Then we sourced a roll of heavy duty white vinyl from our mates over at Reverse Garbage, and sewed it all into one big piece, providing the ACACIA stage with the ultimate weather proof shelter.

The Acacia stage canopy

We also sewed up the rear screens which wrap around the sides of the structure to complete the stage.

The ACACIA canopy - designed and manufactured by Milkcrate Events

The ACACIA canopy – designed and manufactured by Milkcrate Events

The rear triangle is kept free so that the backdrop for the performers was the gorgeous bush site. The photo below is of our session of bass yoga. The best kind.

bass yoga at the ACACIA stage

The design of the structure itself is based on the sacred geometry of the merkaba and we recreated the birds eye view plan of the structure using ring pulls (from tin and aluminum cans) onto the face of the DJ desk. The photo below is of our resident DJ Mantis MD

Ring pull merkaba art

We activated our collective merkaba with visual projections on every inch of the structure for three whole nights (that’s right… until dawn!) and it was spinning and pulsatingly gorgeous. There were also lazers. SO MANY SWEET LAZERS!!!

more lazers in your merkaba at Regrowth Festival more lazers in your merkaba Crowds enjoying lazers at ACACIA stage lazers at ACACIA stage

The stage site was peppered with awesome interactive installations to arouse the doof in all, and the performers and crew were all very dubstep. The sound system was very Grounded Sound. (website pending!) Below is a photo from the perspective of DJ ForkStab who is havin’ it.

1911616_266012970225587_1614339676_n dj ForkStab at Acacia Regrowth Festival

This was the best experience of our lives so far… mostly because of the huge crew of awesome people (you know who you are), with their beautiful ingenuity and their desires to do their best. We can’t wait to do it all again. We hope to see you there next year. A huge thanks to R.E.G.E.N for making such a beautiful festival happen and for providing us with this opportunity. We love being a part of your vibe.

Massive of thanks to the photographers: Pirate Photography, Matti MC and Ordinary Zan for capturing some of the action moments of ACACIA.

The beautiful Acacia stage

Bicycle Powered Stage

In Feb 2014 the lovely boys from Grounded Sound  collaborated with us to rig up 5 bicycles at the ACACIA stage within the groves at  Regrowth Festival near Braidwood NSW, to bike power their massive stacks of speakers!

With 5 bikes hooked up we generated enough power to get the subwoofers cranking nice and loud! We had planned to run the event for one hour, but the crowd was eager and awesome so we kept going for a 100 minutes!

Respect goes out to Greer and the Magnificent Revolution for the use of their system to make this happen… check out their website to see how you can power a whole cinema from bicycles!

A big thanks to the many cyclists who joined us to make it happen… it couldn’t have happened without ya! We look forward to the next Regrowth Festival happening Feb 28th 2015! where we will be setting up a bike gennie rig for participants to help us charge our solar batteries at any time they like!

5 bicycle generators powering the sound system

 

 

Cheers also to the BFG, our resident bike power DJ. Legend. And the infamous MWA for being there and making ACACIA happen.

What can you power with one bicycle?! Find out what else we do with bicycle generators here!

I love bike power poster http://www.milkcrateevents.com/

Harbourlights NYE 2013

NYE milk bottle bling on Sydney harbour

Cosmic milk installation at Sydney Harbour NYE 2013

Cosmic milk installation at Sydney Harbour NYE 2013

This NYE we installed our beautiful and sustainable milk bottle light creations under Mrs Mcquarie’s Chair in the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney for a special foreshore party they curated called ‘Harbourlights’.

‘Cosmic Milk’ is our name for the large colour changing sculpture on the point, helping to create some more visual bling for the night when the fireworks weren’t cranking.

We also set up a bicycle powered light installation on an overhang of one of the cliffs at Farm Cove for the event participants to engage with. The bicycle was free game and the milk bottles were left covered with joyous NYE messages by the close of the new year.

The decor and entertainment we provided fitted will with an overall theme of sustainability and a compost system was employed on the night as well as solar phone recharging and an edible garden… also made using our beloved milk bottle.

Sydney harbour and milk bottle sculpture 2013 NYE Harbourlights NYE 2013 bicycle powered milk bottle lights at NYE sydney 2013 RBGS

repurposing milk bottles into eco festooning

LEDs and milk bottles

milk bottle light sculpture sydney harbour nye 2013

Milk bottle sculpture at Sydney Harbour 2013

Newtown Festival 2013

Newtown Festival 2013 decor

Main stage at Newtown festival 2013 decor

Milkcrate decor rocked the Newtown Festival in 2013, providing colour and cohesion to the annual festival with 300m of custom made bunting and 50 large flags and banners to help to brighten up the standard white festival tents and fencing!

We were especially happy to be asked to decor this festival as it is a fundraiser for the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre which provides many valuable community services to our local area.

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The festival was a big success, and after an early morning drizzle scare the sun came out and the bunting was dancing along with the many groovers in the breeze.

We also brought along our bicycle powered smoothie maker which was busting out delicious icy fruity drinks all day!

Bicycle powered blender at the Newtown Festival 2013

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Life’s better bunted

Here at Milkcrate we love bunting, and we have many hundreds of meters to prove it!

We bunt it real good, by reusing materials and using bright colours and time worn techniques to create our unique bunting. We’re proud to be bringing back the bunt to communicate the festive spirit within our community in a sustainable way.

We’re bunting the bunt out of Newtown Festival this coming Sunday to help raise funds for the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, so be prepared to be bunted in the face.

Big ups to The Bower for providing the fabrics for the flags!

Don’t forget to BYO sweet water bottle on Sunday.

If your are still confused and for more ideas of sweet DIY bunting, check out our bunt Pinterest page at
http://www.pinterest.com/milkcrateevents/bunt-it/

Newtown Festival bunting decor milkcrate events 2013

kids pedal power the sound system

Bicycle Power at Randwick Eco Fair

Happy girls making the music with bicycle generators

We were very pleased to bring our bicycle powered sound system down to Randwick in late September to help activate their annual Eco Living Fair put on by Randwick Council.

We tented up with the amazing mechanics from Bike Wise and provided the means for participants to pedal power the tunes for the day.

As usual it was a big success, especially for the children at the event, who loved generating the energy by themselves for the sound system.

If you didn’t get a chance to check out the Eco Fair, be sure to come next year, and stay tuned for our next bicycle powered event!

Thanks to October Sun for getting us on board with this awesome sustainable event.