Discarded objects have long fascinated artists and designers, but perhaps not everyone can appreciate the idea of a 60-ton, 33-foot-tall "temple" built in someone's private backyard. That's the problem "Junk King" Vince Hannemann faced in 2010, when the city of Austin mandated that he tear down his precious Cathedral of Junk, the massive installation had he been working for more than two decades, until an engineer signed off on plans to rebuild it. The whole debacle is chronicled in The Junk King, a new short documentary by Evan Burns. Hannemann says, "The kids that come here run around like crazy and they're playing. I think playing is like praying—it's a sacred act. I think it shows the ultimate reverance for life." He also mentions that tearing it down "was like an amputation" but now "the cathedral really is a cathedral, it has a congregation, it has a life, it serves a public purpose. It really is owned by all these other people, too, not just by me," referencing the hundreds of volunteers who helped him rebuild the structure. "When I come out here, I disappear into my own little world. This is my own secret fort." Watch the six-minute film below.
· The Junk King [Vimeo via Laughing Squid]