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Froome-Lewis, O. and Plaza, P. (2022) DRIVOSAUR. [Project]

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The Drivosaur (ring-road), whose pulsating arteries, murmurs and fumes transport humans and cargoes without end, rests solidly at the east side of Luchtbal. Drivosaur extended the imprint of Antwerp’s fortifications perpetuating a centuries old separation between essential places and routes. When Drivosaur is ‘capped’ its flow, perhaps by then a fumeless electric whirr, will still be there. We are looking out at Luchtbal, from the micro-football-stadium at JES Antwerpen, Jongeren maken de stad, discussing several kinds of Community Progress before discussing the rail traffic, the E19 ring-road traffic, the new-tram traffic, the bus traffic, the dual carriageway N180 traffic, just at this point a helicopter flies over, and now even turbo-electric-scooter traffic, which has swelled the more benign human powered cycle traffic, ferrying workers to the docks at top speed. The Community | Traffic relationship sits over / under / around other conversations, especially now that the felling of trees along the railway edge has handed the elevated part of the traffic a much stronger visual presence. Reversing this perspective, just for a moment, indulge us, this ‘traffic’ contains another community, one of travellers, that is also largely human, that also inhabits constructed dwellings, all-be-it occasionally (especially on the ring-road) mobile, with arm-chairs to sit in, soft lighting, music, a (changing) view out of the window... In this vein the cargo trucks of the ring-road may also be re-imagined as warehouses on wheels, containing all the same items we love /need: cheeses, biros, PU coats, lawn mowers - as the shops and hypermarkets where they shed the villainous ‘juggernaut’ tag that we prefer to give them when they are moving. Homo-trafficus also live in apartments and houses when they rest, worry about global warming, and ration their mobile-usage. In the opening sequence of Fellini’s 1963 81/2 sweltering Romans melt into their vehicles - commuters dangling their flacid arms from the narrow windows of a bus. Thirty years later in the R.E.M. video Everybody Hurts -’Cause everybody hurts, Take comfort in your friends, Everybody hurts’- the Homo-trafficus stuck in a very similar underpass to the Romans, give-up, abandon vehicles and drag their exhausted limbs back to civilisation. This workshop looked ahead to ghosts of vehicles of the ring-road reverberating between the indivisible realities of exuberance and catastrophe intrinsic to our fossil-fuelled existence. The Exuberant Ghosts of the greened ring-road dancing with the Catastrophe Ghosts of consumption.

Item Type:Project
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Architecture
Science > School of the Built Environment > Urban Living group
ID Code:112416
Publisher:University of Antwerp

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