SEGUE/SEGWAY PT 2. – Solo Show at Firstdraft Gallery

7 October – 30 October
13-17 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo, New South Wales, Australia 2011

The Segway is a two-wheeled, self-balancing, motorised platform that was the self-proclaimed ‘future of transportation’.

After the initial awe of the technology wore off, cracks appeared in the futuristic transportation utopia the Segway company wanted for us. It was sent from a bizarre and absurd looking future, built for a city that now seems incomprehensible. Segway has become a novelty, dismissed and ridiculed — now an orphan — it has become the estranged child of invention and progress.

Time Magazine dubbed it the worst invention of all time. Bicycle Police who enthusiastically took up the Segway have become more ridiculed then they were before. The ‘Segway Enthusiasts Group of America’ were forced to disband after 2 years of existence due of a lack of interest in joining its board. And in a bizarre twist of fate the CEO of Segway was killed after accidentally riding one of his products off a cliff. City governments quickly banned its use citing safety concerns for pedestrians and motorists alike, relegating it to ‘safe-spaces’ such as tourists areas or private land.

SEGUE/SEGWAY PT 2. pays homage to and memorialises this trailblazing invention and its efforts to predict, manipulate and give birth to the future, today. This exhibition is the second instalment of the project after the artist’s failed attempt to present ‘SEGUE/SEGWAY PT 1’ which was planned for presentation at Underbelly Arts Festival on Cockatoo Island, Sydney in August 2015.
Part 1 was to be a Segway tour of the Island, imagining it as a ‘Segway Utopia’ in which the infrastructure of the island was transformed to accommodate the device, incorporating new systems such as Segway lanes, signage and traffic management for the device. The project was ultimately met with ‘Segway-phobia’ from the Island’s stakeholders citing safety concerns and unwillingness to accept the device on its land. Elements from Part 1 will be exhibited in Part 2 alongside new work made specifically for this show.

The exhibition follows the artist’s interest on the topic of anxiety and expands on previous work surrounding ‘world-anxiety’ and the bewildering pace of progress in the ‘Age of Anxiety’.

The development of this work was supported by the Australia Council’s New Work Grant in 2013.