M-Blem, 2012

The train project is an ongoing body of speculative investigation into the language and aesthetics of transport culture by artists HeHe. They propose personal rail travel as a temporary, imaginary solution to question our industrialised conscience in relation to locomotion.

The notion of personalised rail travel has been explored as an alternative to collective transportation since the 1930s. The failure of this dream of a utopian infrastructure is reflected in Bruno Latour’s book Aramis or the Love of Technology, which describes France’s ambitious attempt to develop a personal rapid transit system.

As the antithesis of high speed travel, the M-Blem vehicle, inspired by AB Clayton’s painting of the inaugural journey of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in 1830, will recreate a personal transport experience on the historic track within in the grounds of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

In their participatory piece, HeHe invite audience members to travel in M-Blem, journeying through space and time to experience the past and future of local transportation networks. Starting from the original station building of the Manchester to Liverpool line, the lightweight, autonomous rail vehicle references the carriages of Clayton’s painting and the cultural iconography of Transport for Greater Manchester.

M-Blem is a new co-commission by Abandon Normal Devices and The Arts Catalyst, in partnership with The Region Ile de France. Departures from the Liverpool Road Station building at the Museum Of Science and Industry (MOSI), Manchester, UK.

Links & Liens


M:blem: the train project at AND Festival 2012 from HeHe on Vimeo.