Since the early 20th century, motor vehicles of all descriptions
have been central characters in the settlement, governance
and representation of non-urban Australia. They are objects
of desire and exchange, characters in subsistence, ceremonial
and market economies and sites of projective identification.
Represented in paintings, films, novels, music, ethnography,
ceremony and other media, vehicles communicate
closely with the aesthetic spirits of modernity and its
discontents. Vehicles add velocity to landscape’s
powers, compressing distance and reframing senses of place.
Containing, carrying and connecting people, knowledge,
visions and voices, motor cars are deeply phenomenological
Cruising Country will explore these and other conjunctures
of Australian automobility, intercultural exchange, power
and social transformation through a series of presentations,
panel discussions and film screenings.