101325 Pa

Me and Rorey hired a Van and drove for three hours to the country side to meet a man on his farm who had some Oil Drums for sale. He had Hundreds. I picked the colours I wanted, paid him £5 for each drum, declined the kind offer of a cup of tea due to Rorey’s pleads for us to leave for town to get food from the village market, so we drove away while the lonely farmer’s flock of Peacocks and bright white Husky chased our car to the gate. I wanted to create a difference of pressure between the inside and outside of the drums, causing them to crush. I just had to decrease the pressure inside the drums. Filling them up with one litre of water and boiling it until the water vapour had pushed all the air outside of the drum. Once it has steamed enough I would seal the vapour inside by tightening the cap, imprisoning the furious steam. With the help of anyone around the house at the time, the oil drums would be clasped on each side by two large wooden fence posts and lifted off of the fire. I would place the drums on a bed of ice and soak it with the garden hose to try and cool it down as fast as possible to make the vapour inside condense and allow the atmospheric pressure outside of the drum to overwhelm it and leave it disfigured like a portrait of George Dyer. But for weeks I could not get it to work. I would repeat the process over and over and sit for hours in the garden in the naive hope that it would eventually pop and crush. But I was doing it wrong and after MANY attempts, one afternoon I got it. I tightened the cap so tight that I wouldn’t be able to take it off and put water in again if the experiment failed. Instead of placing the barrels upright in the ice, I tipped them on their side and spun them to cool all the sides of the hot metal. After a couple of minutes, in an instant, like lightening, they would crush and I would jump backwards in shock. Shock from the wonderful bang and shock from the fact that the theory worked and its proof was a beautiful object that seemed to make more sense now than it did before its destruction. They are quite comforting in that they are not trying to do anything anymore, as far as they are concerned they have reached Nirvana. They are not piled up on a farm unable to see through the gaps that other drums provide begrudgingly, they are different and free and finished. Not like the man who made them.


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