Your mobile expectations, 2007

your mobile expectations

Posted by Michael Limaco on Sep 30, 2007

“This space takes you out of your comfort zone and creates a heightened awareness of self and your relationship to the object which you are consuming. The frozen form itself feels impermanent to me both in form and its material ice. One gets the feeling that it won’t last for long without an artificial environment to sustain it. I wish it could live permnantely without so much energy to sustain it.”

Beauty 360 degree room One-way colour tunnel Notion Motion
Sunset Kaleidoscope model room aerial
Room for One Color Yellow vs. Purple ventilator Your Mobile Expectations


  1. Nossaile Rufalo
    Posted September 6, 2007 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    This looks like a futuristic giant-sized armadillo exoskeleton. When you see it in person it takes your breath away. Literally. Cause it’s damn freezing in there! Yes, this “car” lives in a giant freezer.

  2. Nossaile Rufalo
    Posted September 6, 2007 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    The Gillette 648-blade razor.

  3. Posted September 6, 2007 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    The artist is a genius, what else can I say?

  4. alistair
    Posted September 8, 2007 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    nice job on it i like it

  5. O. Mitigawa
    Posted September 8, 2007 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I never could have dreamed of such a thing. But obviously somebody did.

  6. Posted September 16, 2007 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    To me it sort of said off limits to the luxury car as if one day a car and its convenience will be frozen in time

  7. David Littlejohn
    Posted September 17, 2007 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    From my (original) review, then cut: Down on the second floor, in what is formally a separate exhibition (it will close in January, and not travel), stands the strangest of all Mr. Eliasson’s creations here. The 16th in a series of “art cars” commissioned by BMW, it looks like a giant lacy-shelled beetle made of ice, and is kept in a refrigerated chamber so that the work of art will not melt. Visitors, admitted in small groups, are offered gray blankets to wrap in.
    All 15 other artists asked to design an art car for BMW since 1975 (Calder, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney, Frank Stella, Jenny Holzer et al) used the car offered them as a smooth, three-dimensional canvas, and painted its surface in their typical styles, like Calder’s multicolored DC-8 for Braniff Airways. Many of the cars they painted continued to race, and ended up in the BMW Museum in Munich. Mr. Eliasson’s version is unlikely to share either of those fates.
    He first stripped the experimental racing car down to its chassis. Then he and his team spent months designing a metal armature and screens to cover it. They ended up with a basic chicken-wire grid underneath a complex (and beautiful) pattern of curving lines connected by triangles. This double screen was then sprayed (first in Berlin, then in San Francisco) with more than a thousand gallons of water inside a refrigerated space, until the water turned to ice. The ice totally covers the screens, drips off in icicles, and completely hides the car, from which a yellow light gleams.
    BMW pretends to be pleased with the result, even though commentators have interpreted it as a statement about the obsolete nature of automobiles–like this prehistoric mammoth dug out of the ice; an image of foolish speed frozen solid (de-iced and whole, the car reached 187 mph); and a warning about global warming. In defense of BMW and the museum, I should add that the original car used liquid hydrogen rather than gasoline; and all the energy required to keep a 9600-cubic-foot refigerator running at 14º F 24 hours a day for six months comes not from fossil fuels, but from a field of environmentally benign geysers and underground geothermal energy sources, 72 miles north of San Francisco–a very Icelandic gesture.
    I found the ice car gorgeously strange rather than environmetally inspirational, but social metaphors in art often go over my head. No doctrinaire Scandinavian socialist, Mr. Eliasson has also designed installations for Enron in Houston (alas, never completed), Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, a bank and an insurance company in Munich, and a Paris showroom and shop windows for Louis Vuitton.

  8. Kar
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Stay for a while in the mist and the round prism of light. Give yourself a break. Look over at the other people. Think about what life is like inside these pieces. Take it with you. The world is really like this, but it just takes a little bit more vision.

  9. Tibbie
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    ……water, soil and light…thank God for his creation

  10. Michael Limaco
    Posted September 30, 2007 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    This space takes you out of your comfort zone and creates a heightened awareness of self and your relationship to the object which you are consuming. Often you go into museums only to find everything looking so similar after several hours of being there. This room is not like all the others, and makes you highly aware of being there. The frozen form itself feels impermanent to me both in form and its material ice. One gets the feeling that it won’t last for long without an artificial environment to sustain it. I wish it could live permnantely without so much energy to sustain it.

  11. brenda
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I think this was really cool. The artist broke the boundries of the real “definition” of art. It makes you want to say why didn’t anyone else think of that because its so simple but yet nobody thought of it. You say its not simple? Well its just ice!

  12. kathy
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Eliasson’s art is truly multisensory. This piece wakes you up, with your whole body reacting to the change in temp to 10 degrees Farenheit, clutching your soft warm blanket around you.

  13. Anil T.
    Posted October 2, 2007 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Stepping into a freezer, I love exhibits like this that really take art into totally new (to me at least) directions.

    I think it gave me a stomachache though

  14. Sherry Larson
    Posted October 4, 2007 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    more than just a work of art but an experience. it is what you make it.

  15. Andrew Oller
    Posted October 5, 2007 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I was in here for 15 minutes without a blanket! And my shirt was wet from the mist exibit! Beat that!

  16. Claudia
    Posted October 8, 2007 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    This was a cool piece (no pun intended), but I am disappointed that there are no photos of the room full of his macquettes and models…that was my favourite part of the exhibit.

  17. L Van Bruggen
    Posted October 14, 2007 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    This was a great exhibit to bring my two teenage boys to see (12 & 15 yrs old). I found it was better to experience without the use of the audio tape interpretive due to interactive quality of the show. The film of the artist in his studio (beside the ice-car room) was very hard to hear; there should be subtitles if the audio is so poor. You know its a good show when the museum room monitors are excited to point out interesting parts of the works you may have missed. Go see it before the freezer’s unplugged and the water is turned off!

  18. rick pasterchik
    Posted October 17, 2007 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    if this show is still on on friday will look see and then comment -fom thumb nails looks very good

  19. Anonymous
    Posted October 19, 2007 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Running a giant freezer is using extra power that is increasing global warming !!!!!!

  20. Jack Mohr
    Posted October 20, 2007 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    While the ice car itself is amazing, the freezer room it is in adds to the experience of the exhibit. Go back and forth from the top floor to the freezer and see what it does to your perception.

  21. Toni
    Posted October 20, 2007 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    to the anonymous comment above regarding the power needed to run the freezer: if you look at what David Littlejohn says you will read: “all the energy required to keep a 9600-cubic-foot refrigerator running at 14º F 24 hours a day for six months comes not from fossil fuels, but from a field of environmentally benign geysers and underground geothermal energy sources, 72 miles north of San Francisco–a very Icelandic gesture.”

    other than that i think the piece is stunning and otherworldly. i have visited the museum 3 times so far and still want to go another 3…until i saturate myself with his amaizng art…

  22. Posted October 21, 2007 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I haven’t been this moved by any art in a long time. Just read THE ROAD by Cormack McCarthy and I thought I had stumbled onto to a “lost civilization” with the ice car and the people shuffling around all grey clad looking at some remarkable artifact.

  23. anne
    Posted October 26, 2007 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    it all brought a smile to your face and then you watch them unfold on those around you. That is the best

  24. Posted October 28, 2007 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    dude this is sick

  25. Amy
    Posted October 28, 2007 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    an amazing exhibit full of simply beautiful surprises. so many things to see and experience. not only are they things you can see, they are things you can feel and smell. you use all of yourself to expreience his art. i loved it.

  26. MJS
    Posted October 31, 2007 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    when the polar ice caps eventually melt, and we’re forced to give up driving to save the remnants of ozone, allowing us to breathe freely from our remaining lung and stave off extinction, this will help our great-great-great-grandchildren remember how us 20th/21st Century fatcats f&#$@d it up for everybody…

  27. Posted November 4, 2007 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what inspired him? Ah well, I find his reflection of the enviromental problems we face fantastic.

  28. Lone Jacoby
    Posted November 6, 2007 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Fab site w. free instant speach

  29. Peter
    Posted November 8, 2007 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Like an insect carapace in amber: this glowing fossilized matrix of motion. Frozen.

  30. Peter
    Posted November 8, 2007 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    This ice chamber is the reverse of a “hot-house”–another chamber devoted to ensuring the survival of that which is fragile during inhospitable climatic conditions. A metaphor for the all-important environment we can’t see, and as a result ignore. Here it’s made visible and tangible, searing skin and bone.

  31. Bob
    Posted November 15, 2007 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Thought his work was outstanding. I, too, thought this was a giant armadillo. Guess what? It is not.

  32. Anonymous
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    When I got to the museum I wasn’t feeling well. I was wandering around taking in all of the beautiful paintings….but I couldn’t really be present. I felt a seperation, and it was frustrating. When I walked in, the cold of the room and the light coming out of the ice made me feel clean. I became present. And I felt better.

  33. M.
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I stepped inside the freezer and immediately said, “It’s like Pennsylvania.” It brought back memories of people scraping ice off their cars on cold mornings. No car in PA ever looked this beautiful, though. The lights glowing within it add to the strange beauty of this piece.

  34. Posted December 1, 2007 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    it was hella freasing!

  35. Carrie Jo
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    The entire exhibition was fantastic. I’ve decided after seeing it that he is my new favorite artist.

  36. will leben
    Posted December 4, 2007 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Is it art? Well, it makes you look and makes you think, and that’s something.

  37. aiduh
    Posted December 7, 2007 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    how awesomely cool

  38. sasquatch
    Posted December 9, 2007 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    very cold in there i needed at least 1 blanket

  39. chicana
    Posted December 10, 2007 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    who could not be impressed…it made you think, feel, and most of all show you that new art is being made and we get the pleasure of enjoying it. strangely, the cold felt great. Really helpful and happy staff was a plus…

  40. Posted December 12, 2007 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate David Littlejohn’s observations. Could be a forecast of where the relics of our society are found, because the hydrogen car came too late.

  41. Zorga Lina
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Before reading D.Littlejohn’s description I didn’t have the context for the car (I thought, ‘why a car’) and now I understand, it is great, he turned a car (the most ubiquitous form of life humans have created) into a kind of 2nd Ice Age fossil, like a giant trilobite. Also I have to say on first visiting this I thought about the energy cost of refrigerating this, so I guess it is through Calpine’s geo-thermal plant in N. Calif. (I’d like to know how that works within the existing power transmission network, isn’t all the power going through the same lines, whether geo-thermal or coal/oil powered?). I am disappointed in Littlejohn’s revelation that Eliason has designed for such consumer businesses as Louis Vuitton; I believe we need MORE ‘doctrinaire’ Scandinavian ‘socialists’ (what is the matter with US culture that this word is treated as a term of opprobrium?)

  42. Zorga Lina
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    followup to my own comment- also disappointing/jarring to see Mikhail Gorbachev lending himself to Louis Vuitton ad campaign, perhaps he needs the money.

  43. jim
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    wouldn’t the making and the freezing of the car cost more carbon credits than running it normally?

  44. anonymous!
    Posted December 14, 2007 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    i was wondering that if you could describe the pictures because the people that have not gone yet want to know what is and what does it do.

  45. anonymous!
    Posted December 14, 2007 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    that is what makes it more atractive!!
    believee mee i am a museum owner and this is awsome but you have to describe the things that are in your pictures in order to have more peoplee!! GOOD LUCKK!
    loovee youu guyss!

  46. Anonymous
    Posted December 15, 2007 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    When you look at this, it looks like he immitated the BMW Concept Coupe interior from May, 2006. The Concept Coupe had an origami metal interior. Copycat work.

  47. H N
    Posted December 16, 2007 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t figure out what wasting electricity had to do with climate change.

  48. Colin
    Posted December 17, 2007 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I walked in here with my girlfriend, and she was overcome with a sort of claustrofrozebia. She may have set the world’s record for shortest visit to the ice car.

  49. joan stockbridge
    Posted December 17, 2007 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    While I was breathtakingly inspired and moved by the Take Your Time exhibition, I was frustrated by the car. It seemed such a cheap, obvious statement, not at all creative, and using a hell of a lot of power, no matter whether it came from fossil fuels or geothermals. If the artist really cared about global warming, he would have found a more appropriate way to make the statement. That said, the frozen car was beautiful– but don’t con me that it really an expression of environmental concern.

  50. Anonymous
    Posted December 18, 2007 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    that’s really cool

  51. InAweLeah!
    Posted December 21, 2007 at 3:42 pm | Permalink


  52. Anonymous
    Posted December 22, 2007 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    The car in the freezer was awesome. i was scared though. i even asked if it was safe!!!

  53. Han and Kath
    Posted December 22, 2007 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    We thought the idea was awesome. But the thought of trying to make a message about global warming and then using all that energy seemed a little silly. We had a lot of fun though

  54. Posted December 23, 2007 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I loved to go into the place to see the frozen car. It was very cooolllddd in there, but the car was very COOOOOOL.

  55. unknownnn
    Posted December 27, 2007 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    it was nice. lol

  56. Posted December 27, 2007 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    this muesy-muesy is rather confusing, for my dad gets on my nervs almost every srcond of every hour of every DAY.
    i like the cold place it makes me shiverrrrrrr, hi

  57. Jeanne
    Posted December 27, 2007 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    What is the carbon footprint of this exhibit?

  58. kitty
    Posted December 28, 2007 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    preety cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  59. Posted January 3, 2008 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    i thought this was COLD but beautiful (i would bold that if i could) :]]

    P.S. the gray blankets were a nice cozy touch :]]

  60. Jermey
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    That Ice Sclupture is so cool!!!

  61. Anabel
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    it really streched my mind. It made me think about how much we (humans)depend on cars. The exhibet was also very beautiful. The shape of it, with the icicules hanging down was mind boggling. thank you for the amazing ideas brought to the tragidy of global warming.
    It was an intresting expierence.

  62. Anonymous
    Posted January 7, 2008 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Just out of curiosity, what is the carbon footprint of this exhibit?

  63. Posted January 8, 2008 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Like so much of Olafur’s work, Your Mobile Expectations is an arresting experience. It’s helped by the suspense building instructions and preparations before entering the walk-in freezer. The experience of the chilled environment only heightens the oberserver’s engagement with the object.
    There is something immediately challenging about a car concealed beneath ice. For this observer it is a mixture of wonderment and absurdity: the former from the beauty of the ice sculpting and its curved lines, the latter from the fragility of an exterior that surrounds a moving vehicle. That’s the point one must presume: it’s a statement about the delicate relationship between one actions and one’s environment.

  64. Anonymous
    Posted January 9, 2008 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    To me this work is haunting, but not because of its manifest agenda…it is literally cold and calculated, literally moral and ironically immoral, consciously controlled and aware, rationally caring down to the gray fleece blankets offered/imposed upon visitors to the frozen space. Covered in blankets, ushered into this freezer in groups, warned not to touch anything, spectators become part of the installation, dressed up to play the part of shock victims or refugees in a totalitarian space of fragility.

  65. annie
    Posted January 12, 2008 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    This was really cool!

  66. Mark
    Posted January 15, 2008 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Not for this peice but for the corridor with the jutting-out shapes I think it’s Penrose tiled but I couldn’t quite tell….

  67. Diana
    Posted January 19, 2008 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    Please don’t lick the sculpture.

  68. Posted January 20, 2008 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Well, I disagree w/this so called “Anonymous”. While what you said about it is mostly true, I feel that this is more like what the future ought to be, anyway. Refugees? Totalitarian? Freezer? How did you arrive at that interpretation? After all, this is what today’s laboratories and hospitals are beginning to look like. How on earth can something so familiar be “haunting”?

  69. Posted January 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    makes me wanna cry.

  70. michelle marie king
    Posted January 20, 2008 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    it was cold adn reminded me of my days working in a retuarant where we had to enter the walk in. I would have rather seen a Bug inside the glass dome. I enjoyed donning the soft gray blankets. It was more about the experience of walking into an icy artificial space while being in non-cold climate SF – an amusement – than the art of it.

  71. michelle marie king
    Posted January 20, 2008 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    I loved beauty!!! It was all I needed to see.

  72. Sofia
    Posted January 31, 2008 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    This is an very cool sculpture.I wen with my class for a field trip on Jan 11 and we really enjoyed this!

  73. Anonymous
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I think it is a very nice artifact. To show people what you made by ice. I like it because it was so cold inside. It was cold inside because the Ice Car will melt and it was cold because of global warming.
    -Flor Maria Choy, Age 9

  74. B.J. Yeager
    Posted February 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed seeing this part of the exhibit. Fascinating to feel the cold, & see the ice & lights, shape of what was a car!

  75. krishna seshan
    Posted February 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    This is a wonderful way to teach topology and 3d geometry to kids and I am interested in making this happen. I am applied math teacher. a catalog of models would be very useful

  76. Anonymous
    Posted February 6, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    For me the ideas seems to be that in life, what matters is not the object, the attachment to thing but the process of experiencing life. He is throwing our worldly value system into question with profound beauty. I hope I can see Olafur’s in the real one day.
    sadie b

  77. Posted April 22, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Everyone loves it whenever people come together and share views.
    Great website, continue the good work!

5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] the best I’ve seen outside the Art Institute of Chicago. Coolest item from the Eliasson: the “frozen car” (Your mobile expectations). They keep it in a giant freezer and you need a jacket to go in […]

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  5. […] and coldening in a truly unique way. Yes, I am speaking of the “ice and steel hydrogen-fueled concept vehicle” by “noted” “artist” Olafur […]

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