The Best Junkyard that Ever Was: ACE Auto Dismantlers

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The Life Size Mousetrap—Brought to you in PARTS by ACE Auto

Bay Area filmmaker Yasmin Mawaz-Khan is making a very important documentary about the one of the key enablers to early San Francisco Bay Area Maker culture. Bill Kennedy is the former owner of San Francisco’s Ace Junkyard and helped San Francisco’s collaborative art community build their dreams.

Power Tools Drag Racing at ACE – circa 2008

If you have attended Maker Faire in San Mateo, New York, Detroit, and Milwaukee, you have enjoyed the fruits of his labor. Projects like Life Size Mousetrap and Cyclecide’s pedal-powered carnival would never have been completed without the generosity of Billy the Junkman.  Power Tools Drag Racing was born there, and made famous on TV there.

Key Maker Faire Bay Area makers such as the Flaming Lotus Girls, Rich Humphrey, Paul the Plumber, John Law, Jim Mason, Simone Davalos, Kimric Smythe, Shannon O’Hare, Mark Pauline and Survival Research Laboratories, Karen Cusolito, Scott Gasparian, Charles Gadeken—all of these makers depended on the ACE supply chain.

Electronics, metal, tires, bathtubs, motors, wood—for twenty five years, whatever the makers needed, ACE was there.  Until it wasn’t.  In 2009, the landlord evicted Billy and ACE.

Cyclecide rides, made lovingly from ACE junk

Yasmin Mawaz-Khan was there, and she documented the end days.  She has also collected great footage of the ACE heydays.  You can help Yasmin tell the ACE story and Billy’s key role in Bay Area Maker culture. Support her Kickstarter campaign and help realize a document of Maker Movement history.

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Idea Generator, Maker, Social Sculptor

Collaboration is Jess's magic ingredient for success in work, community, art and life. This can be seen through her founding and directing work with Flux Foundation, All Power Labs and Flaming Lotus Girls.

From a lofty dream to concrete reality; Jess is well known for taking that ethereal idea and manifesting that substantial something. Whether taking on the challenge of design, founding an alternative energy company, or creating awe-inspiring-interactive sculptural experiences, she uses collaborative structure to create the bigger picture.

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