Cover image of the review
Warwick Baker, Hi-Vis Dreams, installation views CCP 2020. Photography J Forsyth.

Warwick Baker, Hi-Vis Dreams

14 Mar 2020
18 Jan - 15 Mar 2020

When Dasha Nekrasova complained about her boyfriend delighting in his “train autism” to her Red Scare comrades, I could relate. Given the casual use of the spectrum disorder to describe her frustration with an overseas holiday, supposedly marred by her partner’s over-indulgence in high-speed rail visitation, it occurred to me that there is something deeply pathological about how we relate to our major modes of transport.

I have just returned from an end-to-end ride on the California Zephyr, Chicago to San Francisco. I like trains. Personally, I see in the railway a vast metaphor of a world made manifest by human industriousness and libidinal energy. More revealing of the limits of my own imagination, perhaps, I have conceived of our humanity as like a locomotive hurtling down a set of tracks we have collectively laid, representing the historical dimension of time that goes precisely nowhere and everywhere (a city loop?). If the train derails, well, we’re all on board and some of us are going to be at the front of the line. At present it looks as though we’ve missed a tipping point, or two, and at speed. The car is on fire, and there’s no driver at the wheel. Before us is a disaster of our own making. The tracks devolve into a mess of shingles and spikes.

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