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Drive Dead Slow: Dodgems of Your Mind.

Collective of artists. Directed by Marcus Lyall.

The ultimate dodgem experience.

FREE 12 – 4pm, £5 tickets 4 – 7pm. Book below.
LOCATION London Fire Brigade, Southwark Bridge Road (Entrance on Sawyer Street), SE1 0EG
DATES 12 May – 4 June. Wednesday – Sunday.
TIMES 12 – 7pm (FREE 12 – 4pm, £5 at other times) 
MUSIC NIGHTS Live music nights on Fridays. See below.

Eventbrite - Drive Dead Slow - The Ultimate Dodgem Experience (MAY)

Specially commissioned for MERGE Bankside 2017, a collective of visual, sound and light artists has collaboratively created the world’s first artist-designed bumper car arena; a spectacle that elevates mere bumper cars to performance art. In a disused fire station, Drive Dead Slow: Dodgems of Your Mind promises to take you on an unexpected psychological journey. 

Step into a 1960s converted Supercar fitted with sensors, sound systems and lights, creating a feast for the senses. After your mood is categorised on the Plutchik wheel of emotions, you will be matched to a car – each of which is designed to interact with you in a different way. With all cars full, you are unleashed on the strange and lurid landscape. 

Directed by Marcus Lyall, the British artist behind award-winning stage visuals for the Chemical Brothers and Metallica, Drive Dead Slow celebrates the centenary of ‘The Whirl of The World’, a ride first experienced in London where the motion was created by an arrangement of tilting floor panels. This evolved to become the dodgems we know today. Your Supercar is the cousin to the very first British made dodgem car which launched in 1934.  Repositioning the iconic fairground ride, Drive Dead Slow takes the location of a disused fire station, traditionally a place of order and safety, and mixes it with the chaos and random collisions of a fleet of dodgems, and light and sound installations that mirror the action. 


Drawing upon the colours that characterise the wheel of emotions, Bompas & Parr have created the Plutchik Café specially for this MERGE headline, serving artisan crisps sandwiches and the world's first colour changing polarising kaleidoscopic gin and tonic and colas.


Kicking off on Friday 19 May, Hot Teeth will be launching the first music night at Drive Dead Slow. 

About Hot Teeth - Bobby J created Hot Teeth as a way to finally set free the weirdly dark and loping funk which has haunted his every waking moment since picking up the guitar age 11. After experimenting with what feels like a hundred different Hot Teeth line-ups since 2015, the Teeth has finally been stripped right back to its bare rattling bones. The double A-side "Malmoment" is available on Spotify, iTunes and on 7'' vinyl.

Kindly supported by DPL.

London Fire Brigade is London's fire and rescue service - the busiest in the country and one of the largest firefighting and rescue organisations in the world. They are here to make London a safer city.

About the artists:

Directing this project is Marcus Lyall, the British artist behind award-winning stage visuals for the Chemical Brothers and Metallica. Other artists involved in delivery includeformer KLF member and cultural provocateur Jimmy Cauty, Sam Bompas, co-founder of Bompas & Parr - industry leaders in flavour-based experience design, Tony Pletts, director of a London based company specialising in art direction and construction for the film industry, Ed Baxter who manages the world’s first radio art station ResonanceFM, Dave Cranmer, creator of electro-mechanical machines and sculptures, Luke Morgan, co-founder of Supergrouplondon, and Bankside artist and designer Tim Sheward.


Marcus Lyall started creating projection shows for concerts and club nights, which led him to working on live shows for bands including U2 and The Rolling Stones. He works mainly with film, light, sound and interaction. His artwork often involves large-scale interactive experiences, which aim to provoke visceral, unguarded reactions from participants and audiences. His work has been exhibited in shows in the UK (including two past MERGE Festivals), Australia and South-East Asia. His design and directing work can been seen at concerts across the world, notably for The Chemical Brothers and Metallica. This includes televised performances at Glastonbury Festival, , The Grammy Awards and Apple Music Festival. It also features in two feature films, Don’t Think and Through The Never, based on these bands’ live performances.


As well as managing the world’s first radio art station ResonanceFM, Ed is an Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication (Sound Arts and Design). He also formed the Resonance Radio Orchestra with Chris Weaver in 2004 as a floating pool for radiophonic experimentation, the various incarnations of which have included i.a. Tam Dean Burn, Luke Fowler, John Paul Jones, Taigen Kawabe, Peter Lanceley, and Dudley Sutton. Ed has been recognised as BASCA Composer of the Year (Sonic Arts) 2013; nominated Station Programmer of the Year, Sony Radio Academy Awards 2010; featured in the Independent on Sundays Happy List 2009; and, runner up, PRSF New Music Award 2008.


Bompas & Parr are industry leaders in flavour-based experience design, culinary research, architectural installations and contemporary food design. Bompas & Parr have written five books, the most recent in late 2014 which saw the studio republish Memoirs of a Stomach, a lost-and-forgotten 18th century tome brought up to date with visuals from inside the digestive tract of food writer, pop-up chef and Sunday Times columnist Gizzi Erskine. Working with some of the world’s foremost cultural institutions, Bompas & Parr have exhibited at Barbican Art Gallery, Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture, Salon del Mobile, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Serpentine Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Wellcome Trust.


Over the past 30 years James Cauty has distinguished himself as a musician, artist and cultural provocateur through fusions of high art and popularist mediums. From a string of number one hits as founder and member of band The KLF, to implementation of the The K-Foundation and the seminal action, Watch the K-Foundation Burn a Million Quid (1994), to later artistic experiments with sonic weapons, stamp collecting and model making, cultural subversion and a gleeful level of high humour are elemental to all the work whilst never failing engage its audience in critical pleasure.


Punk is not just an aesthetic to artist Luke Morgan: his recent paintings explore found materials’ words and their meanings. He writes and performs with his band The Highliners and curated the Let it Rockvenue at the award-winning Goodwood Festival. In 2010, Luke co-founded Supergrouplondon, a loose collective that allows them to call on a group of very experienced specialists as and when projects require it. To coincide with the Olympic Games, Supergroup was commissioned to create the Movement Café in Greenwich working with writer Lemn Sissay, one of the official Olympic poets. The artists have an international reputation completing permanent and temporary commissions for a range of spaces including; Zynga, San Francisco, London College of Communication, The Royal London Children’s Hospital, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, public squarein Lisbon, Portugal, Shanghai Expo, Westminster Academy and the Southbank Centre, London.  


Tony started Einstein's Octopus in 1987, specialising in art direction and construction for the film industry. In the 30 years of operation, Tony’s company has become the go-to for design and construction for commercials, fashion, exhibition, films, stills, TV, museums, pop promos, theatre and events. If it can be created in three-dimensions, Tony is able to make it.


Dave Cranmer has been creating electronic and mechanical sculptures since 1998. These have been used to delight and confuse audiences in a variety of venues worldwide. Time spent in the special effects industry has fine-tuned his love of dangerous machinery and dramatic engineering, and a keen interest in experimental audio has led to many sculptures taking the form of unusual musical instruments. Dave Crunmer has produced installations for many events including Southbank Ether Festival, Kinetica Art Fair and HKW Worldtronics Berlin.

Directed by: Marcus Lyall

Initial Concept: Caroline Jones, Tim Sheward, James McArthur

Conceived by: Marcus Lyall, Caroline Jones, Bompas & Parr, James McArthur, Ed Baxter, Tim Sheward, Robin Linde, Tony Pletts, Luke Morgan and Jimmy Cauty, 

Produced by: Illuminate Productions

Lighting Design: Marcus Lyall

Soundscapes: Ed Baxter, Milo Thesiger-Meacham, Jim Whelton and Daniel R Wilson of ResonanceFM

Car Technology: Dave Cranmer

Car Modification/Restoration: Tim Sheward

Casting: Robin Linde Productions

Sound engineering: Shuta Shinoda

Plutchik Café: Bompas & Parr

Later Event: 12 May