The Bus Project

"The Bus Project" focuses on the social impact of the public bus system in Phoenix, a city with a strong car culture. The idea was born out of the frustration that I felt trying to move through the valley without a car, using a system whose dysfunction and idiosyncrasies seem endemic to most urban areas in the American Southwest. This ongoing project attempts to give a face to the urban landscape through dialogue with and portraits of the people who move through it.

Transportation infrastructures have a role in the creation of "the public." They make it visible, give it form and locate it in predictable and controllable spaces. They also channel it, authorizing paths of movement through otherwise disorderly environments. The concept of "the public" is usually so faceless, normative and bland that we often lose sight of the people who are a part of it.

Riders of buses are not mere "users" with interchangeable values and needs. There is nothing "mere" about them. They have faces, feelings and voices, personal histories and social networks, job obligations and family needs. Understanding how riders interact with the urban landscape cannot be reduced to: "People use buses."

Using the bus means actively and critically engaging with an array of material and abstract entities: Boarding a vehicle, paying a fare, reading a schedule, scrutinizing a map, following a route (or two or three), tracking time, seeking shelter from the sun or the rain, and speaking to or avoiding other passengers.

These small, continuous interlocking events are what keeps the city and its public alive and in motion.
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Contributor's Biography:
Born in Madrid, Spain, Teresa Miro Martin received her BA In Fine Arts ("Arts of the Image") from the Complutense University of Madrid and her advanced Specialist Certification in Artistic Photography at the Fine Arts School nº10, Madrid. Afterward, she travelled and studied abroad, spending a full academic year at the Lisbon School of Fine Arts in Portugal and another year at the Basque Country School of Fine Arts in Bilbao, Spain. She is currently a MFA Intermedia candidate at the Herberger College of Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.