Having a smashing time at Scrap Club

It’s the new Saturday night out as clubbers batter away at old electrical items

It’s Saturday night and in a warehouse, a load of old computers, CD stands, fridges and plastic toy cars sit in a pile. Behind a metal fence about 60 men and women from their mid-20s to early-40s wait, apprehensive and excited, to smash them to pieces. This is Scrap Club, a burgeoning underground event set up by artists Joel Cahen and Wajid Yaseen.

The inspiration came after they took part in a reenactment of a 1984 gig by the band Einstürzende Neubauten, who destroyed the stage with electric drills. “We said, why should artists have all the fun, why not get the audience to participate?” explains Yaseen.

The public pay £10 and sign a safety disclaimer. They then get 10 minutes each to smash scrap objects until they lie in pieces. It sounds like an unusual way to spend an evening, and yet last Saturday’s event, the first in east London, sold out almost immediately. To source their junk, the artistic duo scour the streets in a van; universities donate a lot too. After each Scrap Club, the organisers sift the junk, taking the metals for junk car recycling.

Goggles, construction hats and gloves are provided, with St John’s Ambulance staff on standby. Participant Dan Jarvis says, “It reminds me of my childhood again. Also everyone who works with computers has moments when they want to smash a keyboard.”

Then it’s my turn to have a go. I batter away at a partly broken TV until there’s not much left. Then I let loose on a computer, until only a small part of the disk drive remains intact. It’s like having a shouting match with someone: you feel drained but really good afterwards.

I have two close shaves, ducking to miss someone swinging their hammer. And my arm hurts, but those behind the fence shout words of encouragement to keep us going. It’s definitely the most fun destructivist public art event I’ve been to.

NEWS SOURCE

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