Brett Neilson and Ned Rossiter
After conducting research in Shanghai and Kolkata it seems almost capricious to complain about Sydney traffic. Yet in this wealthy city of backyards and bays, waiting in road traffic bottlenecks has become a constitutive part of urban experience. The problem is not only that Sydney, like the cities of the American west, grew up around the internal combustion engine. Nor is it simply that population growth has exceeded the capacity of public and private agencies to provide transport infrastructure. Rather, the reluctance to invest in such infrastructure is a symptom of wider economic and social tendencies that have unfolded against the background of a general depoliticization of life. Rising debt, longer working hours, growing precarity and stress have all contributed to the rampant individualism and aggression that displays itself at Sydney’s clogged intersections and gridlocked motorways. Little wonder then that logistics and traffic infrastructure have become major issues in this far-from-laid-back metropolis.
Notes on art, fieldwork, and method
October 19, 2012
Image: Allan Sekula, still from The Forgotten Space, by Noel Burch and Allan Sekula, 2010
1. These few notes are based on my own experience of the Transit Labour project. As someone primarily involved in art and cultural criticism, I am particularly interested in drawing possible connections between the discussions during the platforms and a set of creative practices. In particular, I am interested in looking at the project’s premises and methods as rooted in a practice of experimentation that is central to some of the most critical directions in contemporary art today.