The Challenge

I’ve been away! No kidding 😀 This and that happened, and I ended up three hundred kilometres away from a means of putting photos online. Anyway, we’ll be caught up before you know it.

Right at the back, waiting patiently, is our January 30 tour of the Dark Arts, that is, the new display at the Bathurst Art Gallery. First we found this:

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Dragon growing out of a pot. A little deeper, and the displays only grew more sinister…

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But at the back of the gallery was the heart, and that best bit of the Bathurst gallery; the interactive displays. This time, we were greeted with not just Art but an Art Challenge, and a most dire challenge it was:

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To not only interpret this mash of symbols, but to create our very own labyrinth of arcane symbols. Ha! Haha! Nothing could have prepared us more for this challenge than the last four years of driving on NSW roads. Pictures like the above, and worse, are commonplace on roadsides all around the state. The above example is simply saying that between the hours nine am and five pm on all weekdays aside from every second Tuesday when that Tuesday is also the second Tuesday in the month, you must deviate ten degrees left and reduce your speed to the minimum required before your car stalls and roll casually for fifteen hundred metres to the next roadwork.

Easy, right? My theory about NSW road signs is that a hapless road crew, upon ordering more signs, accidentally added fourteen zeros to the end of the order form. So instead of MISC ROADWORK SIGNS x 140, they ordered MISC ROADWORK SIGNS x 14 000 000 000 000 000. When the signs arrived, in a convoy of fifteen thousand trucks, the road crew realised the reason they had been forced to announce bankruptcy, and the signs became property of the bank, which loans them to the NSW state government. The government, paying for the signs, feels obliged to use every last one of them, and that’s why New South Wales had the highest density of road signs of anywhere on Earth, at 1 750 000 000 per kilometre square.

This massive inundation of signs has led to unfortunate results such as END ROADWORK signs in places there are no ROADWORK AHEAD signs within recent memory, and anyone thinking of increasing from a steady walking pace to bear witness to at least four police speeding penalty warnings.

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Thus, compared to what is routinely encountered on NSW roads, this display was as barren as, say, Tasmania. Growing anxious at the lack of signage, Ryan and I immediately set to work to fill some of the space with appropriate and helpful instructions.

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First you take a bunch of pre-printed road signs. Then you take some markers and scissors…

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Then you think like a NSW road construction crew manager and make the signs as easy to interpret as possible, resulting in efficient and practical results.

Picture of the Day 54: the Challenge:

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and also this, which I have seen posted several times outside major construction zones:

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What did the gallery make of our contributions? We looked to one of the radical portraits for answers.

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Uh? She’s happy, right?


About Anneque Machelle

Anneque Machelle finds the best in indie sci-fi - so you don't have to. Her background in biology, engineering and fiction writing give her a Geiger counter to find the most radioactive underground hits this side of Pripyat.
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