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'Speed' - Salon at Blacks, May 24, 2003

24 participants
Oliver Bennett, Robin Blackburn, Margaret Blackburn Jo Bruton, Fiona Campbell, Lottie Child, Richard Dyer, Flinton Chalk, Sacha Craddock, John Cumfnell, Susanna Edwards, Simon Faithful, Alan Frienkel, Raymonda Gaetani, Rebecca Godard, Zoe Gray, Giuseppe Mascoli, Lisa Milroy, Ali Musa, Paddy O’Connor, Sally O’Reilley, Si Si Penaloza, James Putnam, David Worthington

Speed has a relationship with time, distance, mass and force as observed by Albert Einstein. He realized his famous relativity theory, ‘The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies’ while travelling in a tram - E=MC2. He talked about riding a beam of light and our basic network of information, radio wave and mobile telephone signals now reach us at the speed of light. Our technology is directed towards greater speed where slow computers have become annoying. We have invented new abbreviations and hypertext for faster communication.

We are living in an age increasingly dominated by speed, ‘life in the fast lane’, it’s as if we’re forever racing against time. We tend to associate speed with progress, efficiency and modernity. Speed relates to production, energy and power, the fast-track to success where ‘time is money’. Walking fast was once considered impolite, while slow, graceful movement was associated with poise and refined behaviour. We now have the phenomenon of nomadic grazing where in order to save time, many people eat and drink whilst on the move which would once have been very bad etiquette.Fast has come to be is regarded as cool while slow is considered boring. Young peoples’ music tends to be fast like punk, speed-metal and rap where amphetamines are taken to enhance the adrenaline rush. Speed is excitement and passion, which generates a fast heartbeat - live fast and die young or the quick and the dead. Many people use activity as a form of sedation so they don’t have to think while exercise has become a form of relaxation. There’s now a vast output of self-help books – titles like ‘the busy person’s guide to more energy without diets or exercise’ – ‘learn how to overcome tension and stress in only 30 minutes a day’. The best way to increase your vitality or energy output is to slow down in order to speed up.



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