Iain Boal is one of the world’s foremost bicycle historians. At a lecture hosted by the Copenhagen Museum he speaks about the history of the bicycle and the acute need for a revised ‘grown up’ history of the bicycle.
Debunking myths along the way, his riveting and fascinating lecture spells out the fantastic history of The Green Machine.
His book by the same name is out this fall, 2010.
Iain Boal will present a new illustrated history of cycling, one designed for the 21st century and its interwoven crises. Drawing upon the artifacts of cycling history currently on display in the City Museum of Copenhagen, Professor Boal will trace the heterogeneous origins of the bicycle, busting some Eurocentric myths along the way. It is a fresh story that celebrates the bicycle’s freewheeling sociability and the part that human-powered mobility must play in the human settlements of the future, but refuses to be blind any longer to the bicycle’s entanglement with capitalist modernity’s brutal labor process or its complicity with the automobilism that has paved the planet, rendered cities unconvivial, and now threatens the biosphere itself.
Iain Boal is an Irish social historian, resident in California since 1985. He is associated with Retort, a group of writers, artisans and artists based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is affiliated with the Geography Department and the Institute of International Studies at UC Berkeley, and the Community Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz. In 2005/6 he was a Guggenheim Fellow in Science and Technology. He co-edited Resisting the Virtual Life: The Culture and Politics of Information, City Lights Press,1995, and was one of the authors of Retort’s Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War (Verso, 2006). The Green Machine will be published by Notting Hill Editions, London, in the fall of 2010.