I always knew my life would make a fine film or art exhibit.
Perhaps the jurys still out on that, but one of my recent passions, bus transit, has been discovered as a cultural treasure trove by City Space, a Berkeley-based “cultural organization dedicated to exploring the built environment through events and exhibitions in a wide range of disciplines, including design, visual art, cultural landscape research, and film.
Opening at 8 p.m. tonight with a jazz band at The Levin Brothers Warehouse, 2255 3rd St. between 19th and 20th Streets in San Francisco, the “Get on the Bus” exhibition will feature a variety of media but just one theme:
a reconsideration of the experience, culture, and meaning of our nation’s least-loved transit mode. Stigmatized as the transit of last resort-the realm of the poor, elderly, and infirm-the bus nonetheless moves millions of people every day. On the cutting edge in some cities, marginalized in others, the bus evokes a surprising range of emotions for people, planners, cities and artists. Get on the Bus will begin to illuminate the world of the bus as a ubiquitous but neglected arena of city life.
Our cities must have buses, but our leaders want rail because it moves the better-off from their safe havens at high speed to jobs in the heart of darkness. Or so I’ve been informed. Perhaps there will be a “Alight the rails” exhibit out in Walnut Creek that explores the cultural prison that is BART, ACE and Caltrain.
If I hadnt gotten up at 4:30 a.m. to cover a celebration of Interstates, I swear Id be at this thing.
The show, which features video projects, photography, “lighthearted urban interventions, whatever that is, and even real buses done up as art projects. Im not sure if that includes what sounds like a very functional bus in which all passengers must pedal to make it go.
Both AC Transit and Muni are supplying equipment for the show.
Is it art? Youll know it when you see it.