Iain Boal social historian.

The Green Machine Tour

Iain Boal

Mapping Human Powered Mobility

As part of The Prosperity Project: Jesse Jones

Date: 14 May
Time: 12 noon-3pm
Meet point: Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Buckingham Street, Dublin 1

Bring Your Own Bicycle.  Refreshments will be provided.

The Green Machine is a bike and oral history research tour conducted by social historian Iain Boal and artist Jesse Jones as part of The Prosperity Project.  It takes its title from Iain Boal’s book The Green Machine, in which Boal explores how the bicycle came to be a green icon celebrated for its efficiency and the spare beauty of its design.  The bike's freewheeling sociability and role as an instrument of women's emancipation have made it a kind of "liberation technology".  Urban planners, traffic engineers and environmentalists see it as part of the solution to congested cities and the global ecological crisis. Boal examines this paragon of sustainable mobility and the mythos of the bicycle as intrinsically a friend of the earth.  A much more complex story emerges when the bicycle is seen in planetary perspective and a deeper historical and ecological setting. The Green Machine tells this history without illusions or moralism, in the face of the gathering climate emergency.

To get involved with The Prosperity Project and for a programme of events, check Create's website and The Prosperity Project on Facebook.

The Green Machine Tour will create a point of departure for Boal’s week long residency in Dublin in which he will meet with local community groups and publics to investigate the role of the commons in relation to Ireland’s post-boom economy.  Throughout this bicycle wayfaring we will encounter real stories of how post-Celtic tiger Ireland has shifted our understanding of the city and in particular it’s docklands.  Our journey will be guided through community voices and contributions by artists such as Michelle Browne, curator and program coordinator for the artist in community residency at Fire Station Artist Studios: Liz Burns and Rosie Lynch and Hollie Kearns curators at Commonage: a community based art and architecture organization, who have a temporary office as part of the Landing Place project.  Our collective journey will traverse the city as a mobile dialogue, traveling through the Docklands' history of industrial and social narratives

Boal claims, “The real history of anything is always more interesting than it’s mythifications”.  The Bicycle tour will create a dynamic and social threshold to that research and we invite you to join us in as we freewheel our green machines together one revolution at a time.

Jesse Jones

Iain Boal

Michelle Browne

Liz Burns



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