Peak travel and the love of machines

A salient point comment frpm this post on the Wellcome Collection, now celebrating its 75th anniversary: ‘The Cabinet of Curiosities is sort of a material manifestation of Western Victorian men’s interests in establishing dominion over the entire world, cultural and physical, and considering just about everything simply fodder for the construction of their view of the world.’ Also at the Wellcome, Bill Fontana’s (not Bill Viola – apologies) White Sound: An Urban Seascape (BBC News) / related: pebbles.

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The End of Motoring is announced periodically, but this time the death knells are underpinned by some unavoidable trends; motoring is becoming too expensive for the youngest generation of consumers and there is a slow but steady shift away from the car as representing the ultimate status object. We’d imagine that high-end car-makers will cling on to their status symbolism for longest, but at the bottom end of the market, car-sharing, public transport, short-term leasing and showy, expensive projects like Heathrow’s ULTra and Masdar’s PRT are garnering more attention. At the heart of it all is the apparent self-imposed limit on travelling – never mind peak oil, what about peak travel (pdf)? Certainly, the idea that constant, relentless and expanding travel horizons are integral to both economic growth and quality of life seem to be on the wane.

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Clinton McDougall / a modern update of Masquerade, The Great Global Treasure Hunt. Hopefully this will spawn some obsessive blogs tracking, decoding and speculating about the answer / Weird Experiments / Lost media / My Band T-Shirt. You know you’re getting old when you find out about new tumblrs from the Telegraph magazine.

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Eric Curry’s American Pride and Passion series are a splice between Norman Rockwell, Annie Liebovitz and the Kodak Coloramas. They’re so glossy it’s as if the surfaces have been coated in some kind of varnish, and the subjects – firemen, vintage aircraft and lowrider cars, tanks, trains and farms – offer up a timeless, hyperreal America, a land of machinery fetishes, militarism and saturated colour. The lighting and comping is so densely layered that at times the images resemble Gregory Crewdson’s cinematic tableau. More detail at Curry’s flickr page.

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3 Responses to Peak travel and the love of machines

  1. vanderleun says:

    “at the bottom end of the market, car-sharing, public transport, short-term leasing and showy, expensive projects like Heathrow’s ULTra and Masdar’s PRT are garnering more attention. At the heart of it all is the apparent self-imposed limit on travelling”

    Sad that Brits’ minds seem to have been so colonized that they accept this diminution of their world.

  2. Glenn Mercer says:

    I think it is Bill Fontana not Bill Viola…

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