EDIT: Lance Armstrong’s Butterfly Bike

Ok, let’s get a few things straight here. First off, upon seeing teaser images of this bike (the original reason for this entire blog post, let me remind you) I understood two things: one, that Damien Hirst had designed a bike decorated with a butterfly theme, and second, that that bike was created in the name of promoting Lance’s causes and would thus perpetuate those ideals. Now, as a result of this very brief viewing of such very small images, I really didn’t see fit to work out exactly how Hirst had designed the exterior pattern for the bike; it was entirely possible that it was a sticker applique, or some other form of additive design technology. They honestly don’t look like real butterflies at first glance, so why would a single teaser image and my knowledge of who Lance Armstrong is compel me to question the moral integrity of the entire design work? All I know was that the geometric arrangement of the organic pieces on an overall form that is significant to me was very pleasing- in fact inspiring. That someone had not merely given the bike a “cool paint job”, but instead perhaps meticulously thought out its geometry as an object and tailored an exterior to fit. To me, that kind of thought, is good design and art.
It wasn’t until “Alan” brought it to my attention, albeit harshly criticising, that the bike was in fact covered in thousands upon thousands of dead butterflies. Now, I am left to wish it were merely designed with decals and appliques.
As I said before, I support the message that Hirst is trying to convey- this idea that for those of us living, our death will be an inconceivable brunt of a realization, something too many of us cannot even begin to fathom. I do not, however, commend his means for achieving it. I will never support the sacrifice of any life for the sake of art. Nor do I think that Lance had any idea what he was truly getting himself into- I imagine his “team” put together another team of artist to create bikes to be auctioned off for his cause and that was the best knowledge he had, aside from some last minute approval. You can find the rest of those bikes here (none of the others feature animal parts): http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/stages/scharf/

And if you’d really like to know the whole story, go here for more on the Lance Armstrong Damien Hirst Butterfly Bike: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/stages/hirst/

The original Blog Post:

Teaser images are being released of the intricately adorned butterfly Trek, designed by Hirst. In theory, Lance will gallantly ride down the Champs Ellysees atop this gorgeous beast after winning his eighth tour. We’ll see if he pulls it out.

I lust after this bike somethin’ fierce. Lordy. I know I just bought my dream of all dreams bike, but goodness my, would if I could own a beaut such as this…

Image and more info can be found here.

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5 responses to “EDIT: Lance Armstrong’s Butterfly Bike

  1. How can you describe a bike decorated with real butterfly wings as “this gorgeous beast”?

    I thought Lance Armstrong was riding to raise money for life, not totally needless death.

    I’m sure it will get a lot of publicity, but of comletely the wrong sort.

    How can you justify killing butterflies just to add a bit of sparkle to a bike?

  2. To be completely honest, I knew nothing about Hirst’s work prior to seeing this bike. I had no idea that the bike was (perhaps) to be decorated with real, dead butterflies. That having said, the term “gorgeous beast” is one I personally use quite colloquially to emphasize both the raw and graceful nature of an object that posesses an artful quality not normally found on said object. I was hoping you’d pick up on the irony of the idea, but perhaps it does not come through in a mere blog post.

    Futher research has revealed that the bike was indeed created out of the deaths of many butterflies (sorry, Alan). I’ll have you know that this information was scant at the time of the post. In fact, only teaser images were available and little was being said about the conceptual framework behind the project. Now, we know that Hirst created the bike as a furthering of a current “shock and awe” campaigne that seeks to make palpable the incomprehendible nature of death. “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” as Hirst explains it, is something I also personally identify with- being a young person who has lost someone so very near and dear. I don’t consider the means to be the most successful, but conceptually I find it a necessary message.

  3. Bill Allison

    “Artistic” conceit & Conservation
    One would think that bicycles are inherently environmentally friendly.
    Not in the hands of Damien Hirst and Lance Armstrong.
    Some background:
    Thomas, J. A., M. G. Telfer, et al. (2004). “Comparative Losses of British Butterflies, Birds, and Plants and the Global Extinction Crisis.” Science 303(5665): 1879-1881. Summary: A study of the UK shows the greatest net losses for butterflies. They vanished from 13% of their previously occupied sites. This extinction rate correlates with the known global rates for vertebrate and plant species.

  4. Ok, let’s get a few things straight here. First off, upon seeing teaser images of this bike (the original reason for this entire blog post, let me remind you) I understood two things: one, that Damien Hirst had designed a bike decorated with a butterfly theme, and second, that that bike was created in the name of promoting Lance’s causes and would thus perpetuate those ideals. Now, as a result of this very brief viewing of such very small images, I really didn’t see fit to work out exactly how Hirst had designed the exterior pattern for the bike; it was entirely possible that it was a sticker applique, or some other form of additive design technology. They honestly don’t look like real butterflies at first glance, so why would a single teaser image and my knowledge of who Lance Armstrong is compel me to question the moral integrity of the entire design work? All I know was that the geometric arrangement of the organic pieces on an overall form that is significant to me was very pleasing- in fact inspiring. That someone had not merely given the bike a “cool paint job”, but instead perhaps meticulously thought out its geometry as an object and tailored an exterior to fit. To me, that kind of thought, is good design and art.
    It wasn’t until “Alan” brought it to my attention, albeit harshly criticising, that the bike was in fact covered in thousands upon thousands of dead butterflies. Now, I am left to wish it were merely designed with decals and appliques.
    As I said before, I support the message that Hirst is trying to convey- this idea that for those of us living, our death will be an inconceivable brunt of a realization, something too many of us cannot even begin to fathom. I do not, however, commend his means for achieving it. I will never support the sacrifice of any life for the sake of art. Nor do I think that Lance had any idea what he was truly getting himself into- I imagine his “team” put together another team of artist to create bikes to be auctioned off for his cause and that was the best knowledge he had, aside from some last minute approval. You can find the rest of those bikes here (none of the others feature animal parts): http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/stages/scharf/

    And if you’d really like to know the whole story, go here for more on the Lance Armstrong Damien Hirst Butterfly Bike: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/stages/hirst/

  5. I THINK YOU ARE INCORRECT AND POSTING A COMMENT ON YOUR BLOG WILL CHANGE YOUR WAYS.

    GOOD DAY, MA’AM! GOOD DAY!

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