Margaret Learns to Drive From There to Here
'Margaret Learns to Drive From There to Here' is a multi-channel video installation that explores the concept of the suburbs as mediated space. By appropriating and re-contextualizing televisual representations of suburban family life and cinematically re-presenting the suburban landscape, this project renegotiates the way in which suburbia is informed by, and experienced as, representational practice.
By facilitating the re-presentation of the suburban landscape inside a custom car-cinema, this installation re-imagines the car as as "not only a technology of transportation, but also a vision machine,"1 in the sense that it "facilitate[s] and impose[s] distinct technologically mediated and framed ways, even techniques, for seeing the ʻexteriorʼ world."2 Indeed, when traveling by car, the viewer moves through the landscape without physically moving. Much like the cinema, an immobile viewer gains mobility only through viewing framed panoramic images. In the suburbs, where the automobile is the dominant form of transportation, this re-imagining of the car suggests that the experience of the suburbs is inherently cinematic.
'Margaret Learns to Drive From There to Here' was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MoCCA) in Toronto in the summer of 2010 as part of the exhibition 'Empire of Dreams: Phenomenology of the built environment'. It was also exhibited as part of The Leona Drive Project, in Toronto in October 2009.
'Margaret Learns to Drive From There to Here'. 2010. Multi-channel video installation. Car, video projectors, amplifier, computer, custom software.
Interior view of the installation showing a viewer watching the front projection.
Photo credit: Jennifer Lee
1 Jonas Larsen, "Tourism Mobilities and the Travel Glance: Experiences of Being on the Move," Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 1.2 (2001): 88.
2 Larsen 88.