Portraits at 70mph
“Here in my car I feel safest of all, I can lock all my doors, It’s the only way to live, In cars.” Gary Numan, 1979.
The space inside our cars becomes another world once we enter it. A world where we are happy to do many things we wouldn’t in public because we feel safe. We seem to forget that the world can actually see us, as although we can’t really hear it and we seem to pass it by quickly, we are in a glass bubble. But this bubble is a protection and it’s ours. We pick our nose, sign out loud, shout, kiss, have sex, eat, and sleep here.
The perception of our surroundings changes dramatically, and the perception of speed alters too. Join the motorway and coast along at 70mph for some time and we enter an almost trancelike place, almost oblivious to the fact we are hurtling along (actually quite dangerously) in a small metal box.
These photos are taken from a standstill. They peer into the worlds of cars passing at 70mph. These fractions of a second images create an unusual juxtaposition between the still world of the viewer and the flash of the passing car. The resulting photograph giving us an extended view of the world inside, we can take our time to look around to see what’s happening there; to see the interplay between the occupants, their emotions actions and the objects inside. The image starts to become a weird portrait which includes the car itself and our preconceived associations of who drives what car. Some occupants see the camera some don’t but this interplay only serves to strengthen the concept of the bubble world, with the occupant looking out, maybe their world is threatened or maybe they are curious, looking out as if they are on safari.
These photos are altered, although only slightly to enhance the concept of the world, the speed and fact that these images are of small worlds travelling through outer space. The space dust only being carefully created from the grain of the tarmac on the roads.
All number plates are removed and replaced with personalised plates based on the 12 signs of the zodiac. Each one reinforces and plays with our preconceptions of the occupants. It can only serve to enforce that just as horoscopes are purely fictional and have no relevance to who we are, we cant prejudge the people we see.