RACE: WASHINGTON DC, ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, YAS MARINA CIRCUIT
I transplanted the route of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race track, called the Yas Marina Circuit, over the map of the national mall in Washington, DC. Once I mapped the track, I completed a one-lap race in person with my vehicle. My vehicle is a remote controlled race car that I follow by running behind it. I am clothed in a full racing jumpsuit with an open-face helmet to reinforce my role as the race car driver. This performance piece is designed for documentation by video camera and is intended for institutional display. The remote-controlled car has two small high-definition cameras on top of it, with one facing forward and the other back at me. The result of this footage is a document of the performance piece played as a two-channel video that captures my lap around the Yas Marina Circuit in Washington DC.
I have performed this piece in New York City, Detroit, Michigan, Washington, DC, and Columbus, Ohio. Each city and track pairing has a political motivation. In Detroit, I run the Japanese Suzuka race track. Am I running circles around the American automakers, like the Japanese companies did at the end of the last century, or am I just in the shadow of the legacy of American automakers?
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix represents the meteoric rise in wealth of the Middle East due in part to the demand for oil from the United States. The transportation sector is the largest consumer of oil products in the world, with the United States of America being the largest national consumer. This dependency on oil has resulted in Western-led wars for oil security in the Middle East, with the past decade in American history defined by our longest period of war.
This performance references the notion of the spectacle as explored by Guy Debord. The international demographic of the public in Washington, DC is the canvas for my art, which reflects the international nature of my subject material. The final piece plays with notions of displacement, absurdity, the spectacle, and masculinity.
My art communicates my love of automobiles, for this single invention has defined modern life. These projects allow me to experience firsthand the power of the automobile in our lives, and the speed of the American Century.