We’ve just posted Transit on Vimeo. Transit explores the industrial infrastructure of Long Beach—by day and by night—en route to the Gerald Desmond Bridge.
Now in its final years, the Gerald Desmond Bridge is a poster child for the war on crumbling infrastructure. On-ramps and exits are disappearing with increasing frequency to make room for the first installments of the replacement span. Large machines move about at ground level, reaching up like dinosaurs to chew away chunks of the structure overhead. Each month it seems harder to reach the bridge, with construction barriers and lane constrictions appearing and migrating back and forth, left and right.
Over the course of the past year, one driver for replacement has become increasingly evident: more signs of fatigue are visible in the structure itself. The occasional decapitated lamppost or inoperable footlight signifies the shift from maintenance to decline. It’s clear now that the end is coming. Yet the bridge remains a key to the fifteen percent of the nation’s shipping traffic that passes through this port daily. And it still exhibits an incredible wealth of sound, especially on busy weekend mornings when the port is in full operation.
We’ve tried to capture some of the dynamic nature of the bridge and Long Beach at work. Video footage was taken by Dave Ayer and JJL Dickinson between July 2013 and July 2014. The soundtrack includes field recordings taken from the Gerald Desmond Bridge and its surroundings along with the violin improvisations of Rebecca Ayer. Transit premiered as the third act of the wikiGong.com A LOT 2014 presentation, the Floating Bridge of Dreams.