TYLER JOSWICK // Race: Detroit, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka Circuit, 2011

Race: Detroit, Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka Circuit, 2011

I transplanted the route of the Japanese Grand Prix race track, called the Suzuka Circuit, over the map of the downtown Detroit, MI. Next, I completed a one-lap “race” in person with my vehicle. My vehicle is a remote controlled race car that I follow by running behind it. I am clothed in a full racing jumpsuit with an open-face helmet to reinforce my role as the racecar driver. The resulting documentation of the performance piece is a two-channel video documenting my lap around the circuit.

I have performed this piece in New York City, Detroit, Michigan, Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. Each city and track pairing has a political motivation. In Detroit I run the Japanese Suzuka race track. Am I running circles around the American automakers, like the Japanese companies did at the end of the last century, or am I just in the shadow of the legacy of American automakers?

This performance references the notion of the spectacle as explored by Guy Debord. The international cast of the public is the canvas for my art, which reflects the international nature of my subject material. The work plays with notions of displacement, absurdity, the spectacle, and masculinity.

My art communicates my love of automobiles, for this single invention has defined modern life. These projects allow me to experience firsthand the power of the automobile in our lives, and the speed of the American Century.