Flying Boat // stephen connolly / layla curtis

Geohumanities Creative Commission 2019-2020

Progress Post: May 2020

Flying is a rarified experience, and a privileged mode of movement: less than 20% of global humanity have ever set foot in an aircraft.[1] Coincidently, air travel is often framed as a release from gravity and a freedom to roam the globe. The infrastructure of aviation is invested in material practices; airports are amongst the largest built environment installations, yet also used by millions of people, every day. Film can convey embodied encounters with space and materiality.

The video Chek Lap Kok (Hong Kong Airport) 21.00 01.12.19 documents a walk to the terminal from the Expo centre on the airport island, by means of slow travel, under makeshift conditions, and without carbon expenditure. It’s a harbinger of lean and informal travel arrangements which may be a feature of time to come. This short piece is a leitmotif for the Flying Boat, and offers a hint of unfolding global events that impacted its direction.

[1] As late as 2017, the Boeing CEO claimed meeting this gap as a business strategy
[2] For latent materialities see Bennett, J. (2010). Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things.