This film, produced by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, explores the controversial story of the planning and politics of a series of overpasses that span the parkways of Long Island, New York. These bridges were commissioned in the 1920s and 1930s by the public administrator Robert Moses. The story suggests that the bridges were designed to prevent the passage of buses, thereby allowing only people who could afford to own a car to access Long Island’s leisure spaces. The film investigates the story and the ongoing academic debate that it spurred through interviews with four scholars who in the 1980s and 1990s discussed interpretations of the design: Bernward Joerges, Bruno Latour, Langdon Winner and Steve Woolgar. The questions that the film raises engage with issues of secrecy and control, the morals of power and the effects of technology. What is the relationship between politics and artifacts? How and to what degree can a project’s intentions be deliberately concealed? What are the deviously designed effects and the unplanned political consequences of the agency of the artifacts that surround us? This film is part of a curatorial project carried out by Francesco Garutti while in residence as Emerging Curator 2013–2014 at the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
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