Towards a futurology of the object: Part 1 - Road Trip

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…from the Nightshift.

On the first night we began a strand of research around the cultural significance of the Ford Sunliner that unearthed a bank of images showing stills from films featuring the car (see separate entry). These images evoked the wider context of the car, as cinematic icon of 1960s America, specifically the stigma and myth making around the glamour of road trips, car chases, and car crashes which had a certain melancholic and unglamorous resonance with the harmful effect our Sunliner had on the boy.

This relation between the harmful effects of the toy to those of the full sized car brought to mind Roland Barthes’ essay on Toys from Mythologies in which he argues that the child is taught to be a user rather than a creator through the scaled down versions of adult sized objects. (A Copy of the essay has been put into the Materials Repository). This concentration on the ‘toy’ element of the object has lead to conversations about the function of toys as a bridge to fiction, a tool that can unlock the imagination, or suppress it as Barthes might argue.

With this dialogue in mind we considered the state of abjection that our car is now in, that it’s life as a toy is long over.

As a means of disruption to the object as artefact, which has been the focus of the project so far, we have set up a series of interventions in an attempt to write a Futurology for the Object, to return it to the state of a toy in the context it currently finds itself, as an object under scrutiny, on this big red bus.

1. Road Trip