High Street (After Ruscha) ruminates on memory, community and culture
David Nichols The Conversation, 23 May 2018
Daniel Crooks’ High Street (After Ruscha) is easily described yet by no means simple. A 17-minute video, it pans along the preposterously unimaginatively named – and in many respects generic to type – High Street, Preston in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. The plane of the street is, however, broken frequently by interposed, faster, vehicle traffic cutting across or behind the buildings and pedestrians. In doing so, the visual connection between composition elements is disturbed, and Crooks makes decisions about what will be grouped as a unit: a building and the road in front of it, perhaps, or a row. Other random urban features – a long, abrupt, epic suburban street or a smaller laneway perpendicular to High, for instance – appear periodically, disturbing the slow motion. This is presented to a synthesized ambient soundtrack – over which only the cars, ploughing past, are audible – latterly building to a crescendo.