BART Psychogeographical Association
Traffic clogs the Bay Area like fat in an artery; a world built by cars, for cars, stretching from San Jose to Petaluma, from Livermore to Vallejo, from Redwood City to Richmond. Cars with one occupant, alone with the radio advertisements and the gas gauge. Cars stacked up in parking lots like an unwatched DVD collection. Cars that bring you to the store and back.
Commuting time is a surplus labor which correspondingly reduces the amount of free time.
The breaking up of the dialectic of the human milieu in favor of automobiles masks its irrationality under pseudopractical justifications. But it is practically necessary only in terms of a specific social set-up. Those who believe that the particulars of the problem are permanent want in fact to believe in the permanence of the present society.
Revolutionary urbanists will not limit their concern to the circulation of things and of human beings trapped in a world of things. They will try to break these topological chains, paving the way with their experiments for a human journey through authentic life.
- Guy Debord
We give voice to something intuited by many in the Bay Area - that BART represents a certain anachronistic dream about the future in which we'd all be taking part. And that, as such, a ride on BART is a moment of loss experienced as duration of time and as a distance. It's on these trains that we know what it feels like to lose something that we never had. In the tunnel under the San Francisco Bay, immersed in screeching, promises that were made to us are broken - aesthetic promises about a unitary urban dreamland that BART still whispers to us each day. We tell each other about the dreams that BART gives us, and then we ride it and chart the length of our despair and the interval of our hope.
BART is permeated with the sadness of a thousand commuters who never went to the Pittsburg/Bay Point stop and never will.
BART contrasts the joy of being surrounded by other people above the ground with the terror of being surrounded by other people in a dark tunnel underground.
We explore the psychogeographical constitution of BART such that someday soon we can use our findings to promote a utopian travel space - a being-in-the-world transit from A to B (or, more accurately, from A to CBDAXetc, since in our travel system passengers will be free to cross psychological and socio-economic barriers that designate one station as a destination above all others). The first step is to remap BART as we know it, with maps that more accurately reflect BART's layout as experienced by human beings.