America, an Excerpt explores contemporary perspectives of past technologies through a wreck of
various objects in a loosely structured form resembling a map of the United States of America.
Objects are strewn through the gallery space and visitors are invited to lie down on a pillow that is
situated between two car mirrors that have been converted into speakers that play a collage of
recorded C.B. radio that breaks up into a morse code speaking “Speed is simply the rite that
initiates us into emptiness.” This text is excerpted from Jean Baudrillards text America. The text
speaks to the desire to reach immobility through pure speed, quoted below.
Speed creates pure objects. It is itself a pure object, since it cancels out the ground and territorial
reference-points, since it runs ahead of time to annul time itself, since it moves more quickly than
its own cause and obliterates that cause by outstripping it. Speed is the triumph of effect over
cause, the triumph of instantaneity over time as depth, the triumph of the surface and pure
objectatlity over the profundity of desire. Speed creates a space of initiation, which may be lethal;
its only rule is to leave no trace behind. Triumph of forgetting over memory, an uncultivated,
amnesic intoxication. The superficiality and reversibility of a pure object in the pure geometry of the
desert. Driving like this produces a kind of invisibility, transparency, or transversality in things, simply
by emptying them out. It is a sort of slow-motion suicide, death by an extenuation of forms - the
delectable form of their disappearance. Speed is not a vegetal thing. It is nearer to the mineral, to
refraction through a crystal, and it is already the site of a catastrophe, of a squandering of time.
Perhaps, though, its fascination is simply that of the void. There is no seduction here, for seduction
requires a secret. Speed is simply the rite that initiates us into emptiness: a nostalgic desire for
forms to revert to immobility, concealed beneath the very intensification of their mobility. Akin to the
nostalgia for living forms that haunts geometry.- Jean Baudrillard, America