Eastside Cultural Crawl starts this Friday Nov. 15 at 5 pm.

landscape and memory #5Remebered Landscape

The annual Eastside Cultural Crawl is this weekend starting on Friday November 15 at 5p m. Drop in and visit me at my studio at 1000 Parker St., unity 146. Check out the paintings that I have been working on.

8 Stories About Cars: A Work in Progress

If we were to think of the time that we live in as a period of crisis, central to this is the private ownership of cars. It does not solely pertain to climate change, but more broadly involves issues of public heath, urban livability, international trade, governance, business, employment, social justice and equality across the world.

The narratives that connect these very diverse themes are an emerging discourse on the connection between ecological, economical and cultural sustainability on public health and urban planning. As an analytical discourse in their respective fields of study there is much needed work being done in these fields.

While on a cognitive level, there have been critical analyses of the car and its many impacts on urban planning, climate change and public health, our emotional attachment to the car merits more understanding.

How do our memories of places that we once walked, that have been transformed by the car and the planning for the cars, affect out consciousness? Equally important is how the car is transforming our bodies and for some, practically becoming an appendage that is part of what forms their identity and self-worth.

Many of us hold a narrative that is deeply embedded in our childhood memories and reconstructed family memories of how the private ownership of cars have influenced us and our culture. This narrative has been sold to us by companies and planned for by all levels of government. But what are the stories and images that keep us connected to cars and what will be the moment of rupture from this narrative?

The VW Bug

It is not an actual memory that I have, but a reconstructed one that was passed down to me from parents. I must have been 3 years old and my parents owned a VW bug. I still have memories of the smells from that car. I don’t know what it is about those cars, but they all smell the same. If I get in a bug now the smell brings me back to my childhood and sitting in the back seat. VW bugs, zippo lighters and Rothman cigarettes are my earliest memories.

The car was white with a red interior. No seat belts. Now in our über-safety conscious mind it scares me to think that my sister and I rode in this car. That was the way the world was then.

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