Car Dreams will explore our car-based economy and culture and its effect on our environment and communities. Our largest exposure to our community is often as daily commuters in cars on roadways. As a private space in public, cars create a simultaneous experience of context and displacement. A car’s occupants are observers rather than participants in their landscape, very much like a person viewing a video projection, and the car masks their humanity to those on the outside. As a global community we seem to be traveling through a world we are separate from, aware of how damaging our ride is yet unable or
unwilling to step out and become involved in change. This dialogue becomes even more relevant with cars being targets and weapons for terrorism, fueled by war and environmental destruction.
Car Dreams is an overnight installation of a car on a public street incorporating video projection of the effects of oil on our lives and landscapes. Synchronized video will be projected onto the windows of the car from within, creating the appearance of a single visual space. The video, taken from multiple cameras simultaneously, will consist of static images of household interiors as
well as moving images of landscape. Interior video will be shot inside households affected by oil conflicts, such as those of veterans and refugees or people affected by oil pollution. Video will be taken within a single room, synchronizing the space of the room with the car projection. Landscape video will be taken from a car driving through oil-affected environments and will be synchronized to the windows of the car.
Car Dreams will reverse familiar visual experience. Interior walls become exterior surfaces and surrounding space will be turned inside out, capturing the full horizon of the landscape as an image confined within a car. The visual experience of the roadway landscape passing by on the window surfaces will create an unnerving effect of travel within a parked car, and the random
movements of people within household interiors will create a sense of exposure, emphasizing a private space within a public setting.
Car Dreams explores the car as an intermediary between realms: spaces of personal and private experience become accessible and public; remote lives become immediate; and the connection between our personal dependence on oil and our detachment from its global and environmental effect becomes more visible.
This project was funded by Forecast Public Art with support from the McKnight Foundation. Additional support was received from St. Paul Neighborhood Network.
Tamsie Ringler is an installation and cast iron artist. She works primarily with cars, using them as vehicles for political and environmental dialogue. Her work can be seen at Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota, Touhy Park and Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park in Chicago, and on the MAX Light Rail System in Portland, Oregon.