From Southern California, public radio for your eyes.

Metropolis II (The Movie)

Chris Burden on driving in LA

We all complain about driving in LA traffic, even artist Chris Burden.

Burden's "Metropolis II" has been on display at LACMA for more than two years. But this beautifully shot video documents the small details of the installation, like color blurs of toy cars zipping along the ramp.

These amazingly abstract shots are accompanied by Chris Burden's thoughts on driving:

"I love hearing that the cars are going 200 to 300 miles an hour," he said. "That’s about the speed they should be running, not 23.4 miles an hour which is what my BMW says I average driving around LA."

"What’s really stressful is that stop and go, low-speed, high-speed … that is highly stressful," he said. "It’s different than cruising along on an open road at a constant speed."

It's a bit funny to hear Burden talk about how driving in Los Angeles is stressful, considering he's most well-known for voluntarily being shot in the arm for a gallery performance piece in the early 1970s.

"It’s about to be over – the idea that a car runs free," he said. "Something else is about to arrive."

Burden drew a parallel between now and when the automobile first arrived and horse-drawn carriages were about to disappear. Except now automobiles are the carriages, and self-driving cars are the up-and-coming in auto technology.

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