Archive for the ‘suburb’ Category
Highway interchanges from infrastructurist.
The beauty of the design is directly proportional to the onset of mania in the mind that created it.
Trust Johann Hari to write the best thing on the recent death of the inimitable J G Ballard.
Ballard had a low view of humanity, he offered scathing critiques of consumerism, culture, society, and our relationship to the earth.
He sees violence beneath the veneer of suburban life —
“The suburbs dream of violence. Asleep in their drowsy villas, sheltered by benevolent shopping malls, they wait patiently for the nightmares that will wake them into a more passionate world…”
“We’re like bored children. We’ve been on holiday for too long, and we’ve been given too many presents… People are re-primitivising themselves. The future is going to be a struggle between vast systems of competing psychopathies, part of a desperate attempt to escape from a rational world and the boredom of consumerism.”
The shopping mall was the endgame of the enlightenment —
“the great dream of the Enlightenment, that reason and rational self-interest would one day triumph. [It] led directly to today’s consumerism.”
[crane, 2007, oil on canvas|aerial #69, 2004, oil on canvas]
Sarah McKenzie’s paintings of wood frame houses, cul de sacs and suburban developments. They seem to merely document, but we’re too literate for that, with all the talk of sustainable life. By her own admission they show more than beauty: hints of distopia.
From her website –
At this point, my work is only minimally about suburbia. Tract homes and strip malls provide the fodder for the paintings and help to place them in a specific cultural moment in time, but the work is ultimately about paint and the nature of pictures. To the extent that my paintings still comment on suburbia, it is through the moments of visual rupture described above, which may be interpreted as revealing cracks in the suburban American dream.
Here is a trailer for the documentary The End of Suburbia by Gregory Greene. Is it alarmist, or is the suburb the greatest energy suck the world has ever seen? From the film:
The whole suburban project I think can be summarized pretty succinctly as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world. America took all of its postwar wealth and invested it in a living arrangement that has no future.
The age of the 3,000 mile caesar salad is coming to an end.