Mike Stubbs

Read about the artwork

Donut by Mike Stubbs - © Science Museum/Tim Hawkins

Donut by Mike Stubbs - © Patu Tifinger

Mike Stubbs - Donut

  • 2004
  • Video and poem
  • Currently on display
  • Location: Energy - fuelling the future, second floor

Since early childhood Mike Stubbs has been obsessed with fast cars and speed. In Donut he demonstrates a continued obsession and questioning through a combination of video and poetry. 'Donut' is a term used by young fast-car enthusiasts to describe a circle of burnt rubber made by spinning a rear-wheel-drive car on the spot. In the work there is an implicit concern that, as the artist converts fuel into speed and sound, he is wasting precious energy and his car is releasing fumes that damage the planet. This brings into question whether we can continue to meet our aspirations whilst also trying to be more considerate towards the environment. The work embodies the tension between a vernacular pleasure and addiction to car culture as a post-war phenomenon, and an emergent societal awareness of environmental and economic issues of sustainability.

About the artist

British artist Mike Stubbs (born 1958) works in film, video, mixed media-installations and performance. One of the main themes of his work is the exploration of culture, identity and status in our society. A version of Donut also featured on Channel 4 television in the series 3 Minute Wonder and also as a more complex installation shown in museums and galleries in Australia and the UK. Stubbs is the Director of FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) and Professor of Art, Media and Curation at Liverpool John Moores University.

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