90 kmh Economy Drive

Dick Averns

Festivals: M:ST 6 Biennial | October 15 - 27, 2012.

Spearheaded by Dick Averns, the 90kmh Economy Drive is a slow driving movement that creates a more sustainable community among motor-vehicle users. It proposes a mass performance art project that deploys an art ‘multiple’ — a green maple leaf decal affixed to the rear of one’s motor vehicle — to demonstrate a commitment to reduced highway driving speed, and with it, reduced fuel consumption and pollution. This project is registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, which trademarks services including psychogeography and autoethnography, and dovetails with the content of Averns’ practice that investigates the commodification of space: probing how spaces are bought, sold, exchanged, valued and contested.

The 90kmh Economy Drive is featured in M:ST in conjunction with a solo show at Calgary’s Ledge Gallery in the Epcor Centre for Performing Arts. The show entails a sculptural and performative installation: part office, part exhibition, and part trade show stand. Neon sculptures complement infographics featuring depictions of Peak Oil, Canada’s gasoline and energy consumption, statistics on driving speeds, and details on how to participate in the 90kmh Economy Drive. With support from Calgary 2012, the 90kmh Economy Drive is distributing free vehicle decals, enabling anyone who wishes to transform their own car into a vehicle for public performance.

On Sunday, October 21, the 90kmh Economy Drive will lead a caravan south from Calgary via Hwy 2, transporting artists and audience to an M:ST Cabaret in Lethbridge. Traveling at a fuel efficient 90 kmh — close to the optimum speed to maximize engine fuel efficiency — members of the public on Hwy 2 will also be encouraged to join the convoy. Dick Averns will give an artist talk at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery at 4:00 PM on October 21, and also participate in a panel at the Alberta College of Art + Design on the afternoon of Thursday, October 18.