Medium: Kinetic sculpture
Metropolis II is an intensely engineered kinetic sculpture with 1,100 miniature cars speeding through an elaborate system of roads, freeways, train tracks, and buildings at a speed of 240 scale m.p.h. Every hour, approximately 100,000 cars circulate through the toy-city's network. It took Burden over four years to build the sculpture. Unlike the piece's predecessor Metropolis I, Metropolis II's cars are specially manufactured in China since off-the-shelf Hot Wheels' axles wear out quickly. The frenetic, dynamic piece models the hustle and bustle of a car-dominated metropolis. Burden's Metropolis II acts like a moving model of Le Corbusier's Ville Radieuse, while acknowledging and highlighting this vision of urban life as nearly extinct, an end of an era.