Currently reading : Carson Salter, and the automobile as a narrative structure

Carson Salter, and the automobile as a narrative structure

16 July 2012

Author : jeanne-salome-rochat

JG Ballard:

“The styling of motor cars, and of the American motor car in particular, has always struck me as incredibly important, bringing together all sorts of visual and psychological factors. As an engineering structure, the car is totally uninteresting to me. I’m interested in the exact way in which it brings together the visual codes for expressing our ordinary perceptions about reality ”” for example, that the future is something with a fin on it ”” and the whole system of expectations contained in the design of the car, expectations about our freedom to move through time and space, about the identities of our own bodies, our own musculatures, the complex relationships between ourselves and the world of objects around us. These highly potent visual codes can be seen repeatedly in every aspect of the 20th century landscape. What do they mean? Have we reached a point now in the 70s where we only make sense in terms of these huge technological systems? I think so myself, and that it is the vital job of the writer to try to analyse and understand the huge significance of this metallised dream.”

“I’m interested in the automobile as a narrative structure, as a scenario that describes our real lives and our real fantasies. If every member of the human race were to vanish overnight, I think it would be possible to reconstitute almost every element of human psychology from the design of a vehicle like this.”

From The Atrocity Exhibition (1970) on UbuWeb, (via Rhizome)
Stolen from Carson Salter’s blog.

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