Our city is in a state of flux: climate change, rapid population growth, housing affordability, technological advances such as driverless cars and shifts in the labour market are all gearing up to permanently change both the look of our city and how we inhabit it. Over four weeks Clare, and a team of collaborators, transformed an ordinary suburban house inside and out creating an immersive installation that transported audiences to the end of this century to experience the future of the Australian suburbs.
Section 32 is the first of a trilogy of works developed by Clare McCracken as part of her creative practice research PhD at RMIT University. McCracken’s research is informed by the mobilities turn in sociology which contends that mobilities sit “at the centre of constellations of power, the creation of identities and the microgeographies of everyday life”(Cresswell 2011: 511). Consequently, it is through our analysis of mobility systems and their impacts – contemporarily and in the past – that we can come to understand the forces that have shaped the spaces we inhabit, our relationships, and our concept of time. McCracken’s research will see her develop works that respond to these systems and their impact throughout the centuries from a uniquely Australian perspective.
Within the trilogy of works Section 32 takes the future as its subject matter, ruminating on what the car-centric outer suburbs of Melbourne may look like by the end of the 21st century. It contemplates how domestic routines, interpersonal relationships and the fabric of the house itself will adapt to a post carbon world affected by climate change, extreme weather events, population increase and new technologies such as driverless cars and virtual reality. The work is informed by the work of sociologists, contemporary philosophers and cultural theorists such as John Urry, Anthony Elliott, Tim Cresswell, Manual Castels, Rosi Braidotti and Paul Virilio, but also by Melbourne’s history of planning, development and environmental policy.
Section 32 began with a four-week residency where McCracken lived in the house and commuted to and from work daily. Consequently the final work was developed not just from mobilities theories, but from the experience of living in the outer suburbs of Melbourne.
CREDITS: Section 32 would not have been possible without the support of the following people and organisations. John Smart from Smart Graffiti, RMIT School of Art in Public Space, Andrew Ferris, Chris McCracken, Kate McCracken, Hannah Macnish, John Twyford, Molly Warren, Kurt Luttin, Sue Shee, Martin Brennan, Marcia Ferguson, Patrick McCarthy, Michael Hearn, Martin Buden and the residents of Rose Avenue, Boronia.
Section 32, 2016. Lead artist, creative producer and writer Clare McCracken // key collaborator, performance director and performance writer Brienna Macnish // key collaborator, sound designer, composer and technology designer Robert Jordan / associate artist, creator of the Black Room Jessie Stanley //performer/devisor Kasey Gambling // performer/devisor Isabella Vadiveloo // performer/devisor Ernesto Munoz // performer, message from mars Paul Blenheim // production assistant Andrew Ferris. Section 32 was commissioned by Knox City Council and has been assisted by an anonymous donor.
Cresswell, Tim. 2011. ‘Mobilities I: Catching up’, Progress in Human Geography, 35: 550-58.