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The Bottle Cap
A little over a hundred years ago, the tiny crown cap opened a revolution. Its tin-plated disc of thin steel, pleated round its edge, compressed a sliver of cork over the lip of a bottle’s deliberately slender neck. Coca-Cola escaped the confines of the drug store fountain. Beer left the tavern. We christened the machine age of drink.
That revolution left an unforeseen casualty. Those first bottles were reused many times. But the cap was meant to be discarded. It was the very first pebble that would loose an avalanche of disposable packaging and of changed habits.
The Cap had its own ideas. It embodied ingenious simplicity and graphic intensity. It had opened with an unforgettable, whispered sigh. It opened to all manner of improvised key with generous flexibility. It was a token and an ornament. We made it a treasure that we collected and traded.
That's the Challenge: Open the cap's uses or meanings. Capitalize on their colors and folds. Encapsulate them in larger constructions. Recap their messages. Capture their stories. Capsize expectations.
In Leonardo’s time, wine was capped with folded cloth, dipped in olive oil, and twisted into a bottle’s neck. But follow Leonardo’s hand as he draws machines. He folds the teeth of gears around their circumference to create the pleated geometry that will become the crown cap.
Leonardo daVinci painted with unrivaled vision, explored science with modern logic, and invented with pure imagination. The Leonardo Challenge celebrates one of his inventions: improvisational creativity. One hundred artists, designers, and playful spirits will transform a common object – this year: crown caps – with wit, whimsy and artistry.
The April 8th Benefit will revel in those artists’ creativity. Through their generosity, and yours, the evening will support workshops and outreach for a new generation of Leonardos.