2016: Roommates on wheels

Roommates on wheels
Exploring the Soundscapes of America by Bicycle
Zhengxiang Toh || Angus Mossman

The concept of “wilderness” has fascinated people for thousands of years—in biblical times it was the devil’s playground; the transcendentalists of the 1800’s called it heaven; and today, it conjures up the image of an idealized, untouched landscape. Yet the wilderness as an untouched landscape has drawn increasingly more skepticism. Philosopher William Cronon came to the conclusion that whether or not true wilderness exists today, it “gets [people] into trouble only if [they] imagine that this experience of wonder and otherness is limited to… pristine landscapes [they themselves] do not inhabit.” American poet Gary Snyder put it in these words: “A person with a clear heart and open mind can experience the wilderness anywhere on Earth.”

Toh and Angus, partners in crime since Freshman year, set out on a 2000 mile bicycle journey to investigate these questions. Their route took them through a variety of landscapes inhabited (or not) by an enormous variety of people–from the industrial shores of Hamilton, ON to the forested peaks of the Catskills, and from Syrian refugees to Evangelical car mechanics. Through sound recordings, Toh and Angus explored aspects of wilderness that exist in the heart of large cities and vice versa. Then, to see how people fit into the wilderness question, Toh and Angus talked with locals along the way and recorded snippets of their daily lives in their surroundings.

See more at our website Roommates on wheels

Toh and Mossman

map of our ride