Uppity Bike Commuters Collective asks the question “Why are bicycles seen as such an invasion of space that people feel compelled to harm others who are riding bicycles?” The seeds of the UBCC were planted through an incident that occurred when I was working as a bike messenger in Philadelphia. An automobile driver rode up next to me at a stop sign and shouted, “ Aren’t you all Uppity!! Riding your bike in the street!! ” Years later after a colleague was run off the road by a Fed Ex truck; thoughts arrived towards making art about the bicycling transportation experience. These ideas were shared with a circle of fellow bicyclists of multiple identities. Creating positive action stemming from an absurd incident, we decided to unite over our common experiences through bicycling. Critiquing a societal attitude directed towards us, the Uppity Bike Commuters Collective was created. Unifying 5 core members: Professor Crank, Dr. K, The Unicorn, Notorious D.A.V., and Mr. Bubble(s).
The Uppity Bike Commuters Collective makes advocates for the necessity of bicycle transportation while analyzing American Classism. Since the System of Enclosure, Privatization and Common ( Public ) Space has been contested. American Culture predominantly displays its values through transportation. Morality, Body Politics and Capital all play a role. Living within a culture whose only ethic is production, consensus usually results in the view that a bicycle doesn’t belong. The UBCC ( UBC for short ) presents bicycle transportation as an essential element for the democratic functionality of Public Space. We also promote the bicycle as a catalyst for creating community, the ability to create personal space, and the agency to de-accelerate through “unproductive” production. By interacting with and (re) – creating these scenarios through printmaking, Uppity Bike Commuters Collective unveils cultural mechanisms, creates dialogue and encourages connections of shared experience.
Copyright Uppity Bike Commuters Collective 2019