Extract from Sarah Ihler-Meyer’s text
“Constantly foretold but never coming to pass is the twilight of the god Progress, the deity of promethean dreams, of mastery over time and space, and of overcoming the restrictions of space and time, incarnate in mundane items such as the car or the telephone. Rooted in aspirations for limitless speed and communications, these artefacts are now weighed down by the human and environmental disasters their production, infrastructure and emissions have engendered. Deactivating them while preserving their symbolic significance: this is the treatment to which Tony Regazzoni subjects them.
The background is France in the period 1970-1990: three decades that witnessed two oil crises, the first warning signs of ecosystem collapse, and the ascendancy of neoliberal policies; enough to turn the dream into a nightmare. This notwithstanding, for some at the time the “innovation” driven progress race was a no-holds-barred pursuit. In France, it took the form of public investment in telecoms R&D, the building of a network of highways, and public spending on culture for the benefit of the population at large, as well as technological advances by the major automotive manufacturers. In that sense it was still a time when the public authority had not yet fully yielded to unrestrained competition.”