Circuit Rider.

The highway is not for you, its for me. You know you can take that exit faster that 35 mph, you never go to a weigh station, and probably wonder why trucks want to weigh themselves so often (I did). The tax money spent repairing, and building interstates is because my kind destroys, and depends on them.

Its my home and my prison. I never go farther than a few miles from a highway, and its difficult to see a city other than from my driver’s seat.

As I roll down the road I start to think of a relief sculpture I saw in college. A visiting artist, Dawn Gavin put up her show zero/point/position, wherein she manipulated maps, and passports to create patterns, and abstract forms. Come to think of it, they were referred to as three dimensional drawings at the time. Her primary medium is drawing, and in her artist’s statement she mentions that the physical manipulation of the maps and her predisposition towards drawing gives her the “ability to move freely between these differing approaches, while simultaneously allowing them to inform and change one another.”

For example, in her piece Tract she arranges 1 inch diameter circular cutouts of maps in to a larger outline of a circle, fixing each one to the wall with a straight pin. The pin makes each bit of paper a specimen, and also creates a fuzzy whole, including the intricate shadows induced by the direct lighting. In this piece a simple shape, a circle, is drawn with itself, and not drawn at all.

Tract- Dawn Gavin
I tried to get (steal) more images, but I’ll have to refer to her website.

Gavin removes the maps from their original context so “material is then literally dislocated . . . in such a way as to subvert its original modus and offer alternate interpretations.” This idea works especially well in her video Littoralis(image #11). The subject innocently flips through passport, but the camera is set to mirror image. The resulting video shows a vaginal form repeatedly, and lovingly penetrated by the fingers that turn the pages.

But the piece I think about driving down the road, and trying to maneuver in places that no truck is supposed to go is Lung(image #7). She’s taken a map that estimates the travel time between cities, and cut out everything but the circuits. The shape, the title and the way it is placed seems to refer to the circulatory system surrounding a lung. But I think of its reference to my existence on the road. The highway was made for me, and everything else for you. My truck and my life as a truck driver are designed for these pathways, and doesn’t belong or exist beyond them.


~ by The Great and Powerful RB on December 16, 2008.

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