Disposable Income - Photographs by Lisa Enman.
I completed this body of work in January 2012. It was shown at the Anna Leonowens Gallery at NSCAD University as my solo grad show. All prints are composed of anywhere from 3-12 images stitched together, 44" x 18.5"
What better way is there to burn your money than to burn rubber?
I spent my past summer in West Prince, Prince Edward Island. During this time I was immersed in a culture that I had never really taken the time to think about. I noticed more than ever the abundance of ATV's, the annual demolition derby, and the local fruit loop*. What really grabbed my attention was the tire marks covering the roads and parking lots. An art in itself, the tire marks are skilled hand gestures through the steering wheel controlling the outcome.
When I first moved to Halifax, I became fascinated with the quick changes occurring in the city with architecture, business spaces, and graffiti. When compared to the rural community I grew up in, changes seem to occur much slower. However, the tire marks are one of the few features of the landscape that are constantly evolving on a daily basis. They are a form of graffiti - an ever changing canvas on the pavement. As weather washes the marks away or more marks are added, a particular "canvas" is never the same.
Creators of these marks are commonly male. Driving under the watchful eye of their peers, the mentality is often to put the foot to the floor. This results in what became known as "swingin' circles." Based on interviews with local residents, some of the motivations for this activity would include the risk factor, and the thrill that comes with having your vehicle sideways yet still being in control of it.
In Marcel Danesi's 'Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things', smoking is discussed as a ritualistic and behavioural performance, possibly symbolizing independence and a sense of feeling cool. Despite all warnings and examples against it, this is what burning rubber is all about.
*Fruit loop - an act of socializing among young locals consisting of driving to and from/hanging out in business lots connected by the main road(s) through the community. Burnouts are one activity that occur in this situation among consuming drugs/alcohol, fighting, or just chatting.