The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 28, 2006

Trolley video, one of many.

An 1897 German trolley moving out on a truck from Redhook, Brooklyn, to
upstate New York.

You ask why should this be of interest to you? It shouldn't, I think. I'm
fascinated by trolleys, tracked and trackless; I was lucky to come across
this one as it was being loaded onto a flatbed truck. The original tape is
quite long; you're watching a segment, the truck pulling out, down the
long alley, in reverse. I love the video, but only perhaps because I love
the vehicle; this is the wave of the future, now transformed into light
rail systems all over the world. From around 1890 through 1940 or so,,
trolleys dominated public transportation in the United States; after that
they were phased out as a result of improved roads and the spreading use
of automobiles. Now they're coming back, they're clean, fairly inexpensive
to run, avoiding traffic jams (in Geneva for example, the trolleys control
the traffic lights; they have the right-of-way). Oh this is an excuse! I
love trolleys, that's all.

new old work...
a few years ago...

what happens to signifiers - channeling -

ah... in relation, just finished Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling, wrote a
long review, what I find amiss in prediction or description or teleology,
always, without fail, not just hear - any mention of utopia - my own work
included - my 'futurologies' - the discounting of, inability to account
for, the inertia of human behavior, the let-it-be which continues in fact
to let-it-be, or the not-in-my-back-yard - what speaks, describes, is
enunciated, always unforeseen consequences - not to mention effects of
sickness, ignorance, addictions, territorializations - even now you might
want to check out Viktor Papanek's Design for the Real World - but
bottom-up just won't cut it - we're no longer interested in materiality -
the dusk of the pre-electric - let's lead the way in the middle of the
night - illuminated - electric torches - we're ahead of everyone - the
tunnel's at the end of the light -

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