This report is a way of getting back to you on the latest in this on-going project. We start with news from Tehran.
Talking Asphalt – Interviews about the Road, the Drive and the Dark Matter was envisioned as series short talks and interviews with speakers representing a variety of professional and personal viewpoints, unified in some ways by asphalt. Thus, talking about asphalt instead of the background of the artistic work-in-progress, became a part of the research – and the work itself, extending into the life of urban Tehran. In this report, you’ll find a short review of the event and some further thoughts.
Jalal Mousavi, a doctorate in geoengineering and specialist in oil and gas, explained from his industry perspective what asphalt actually is; a mixture of sand, gravel and bitumen – the heaviest and crudest element of petroleum refining processes. He told us about the main reserves, places where bitumen is extracted, the specific techniques used to extract it, the main producers, technical advances, storage methods and applications.
Ali Gholipour, a scholar well versed in theatre and culture, pointed out to us the importance that Chaloos Road theme has in the modern history of Iran. He presented us the road as a body with three attached elements: the Kandovan tunnel, the Karaj Dam and the iconic actress and singer Googoosh. All three have played a part in the creation of road as a place and a resource for leisure, especially for the well-off middle class. As a result, the Chaloos Road became, not really the route built for arriving somewhere but a symbol of the trip itself – a destination happening on the way.
180, 360, Donut, Nim Kelaj, Dande Mostaghim, Drug, Sniff, Burn Out, Rockford, Drift, Ye Lab Do Lab, Drift Back… naming and describing a series of movements, Hirad Amiri marked on the performative facet of the cars and the roads, explaining that the city can be understood as a theatre or a playground and the car as a leisure technology and a malleable tool.
In the time after the event – we have discussed the ways the talks were received and seen by the public. While talking of asphalt, we understand that the audience has now become a part of a performance – a part of an exchange. While talking of asphalt in Tehran, we started a conversation that will have several outcomes as the project carries on, and with the Asphalt Report, we hope to, perhaps irregularly or unexpectedly, continue this exchange.
Hamsafar. Masud Asadollahi. 1975
To download the full report, click here: TheAsphaltReport_No1_Final