Symphorophilia (car-crash sexual fetishism)
Or a paraphilia in which sexual arousal hinges on staging and watching a disaster such as a traffic accidents.

Paraphilia (Greek para beside and -philia friendship, meaning love)
As described by John Money: ‘a sexuoerotic embellishment of, or alternative to the official, ideological norm’. [1] John Money

‘[…] it is the custom, at least in European society, to consider that power is localised in the hands of the government and that it is exercised through a certain number of particular institutions, such as the administration, the police, the army, and the apparatus of the state. One knows that all these institutions are made to elaborate and to transmit a certain number of decisions, in the name of the nation or of the state, to have them applied and to punish those who don't obey.’ [2] Michel Foucault

‘[…] a good deal of what the state authorities define as civil disobedience is not really civil disobedience: in fact, it's legal, obligatory behaviour in violation of the commands of the state, which may or may not be legal commands.’ [3] Noam Chomsky

‘After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.’ [4] J.G. Ballard

Urban infrastructure, the technical structures that support a society, are essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions and are generally owned and operated by municipalities. Parts of the physical urban infrastructure, such as roads, sidewalks, cycling paths and parks belong within the domain of public space and are, even though freely accessible for everyone, highly regulated, especially in the bigger urban agglomerations like–in this case–Amsterdam.

Parking spaces along the road belong as well to the domain of public space and are also subject to strict regulations. However, here a remarkable phenomenon occurs; one can pay for the space, which makes it for the duration one has paid for it, less public or (semi-) private space (whatever one could/should call it).

All these regulations are of course set to regulate car possession and the use of it in order to maintain the living conditions in the bigger urban agglomerations. On the contrary, the car as a source of all these regulations depicts the opposite, namely that of status symbol as well as that of erotic capital (you are what you drive) and indicates a perceived economic and/or social status/capital. This discrepancy between politics and power, how one could call it, vanishes in the car-crash, that accommodates elements of ones fantasies on speed, power, violence and sexuality.

A desire. A car crash. A test case. A road-trip.

The three PhD students participating in the road-trip:
dhr. J.J. (Jelle) van Baardewijk MA, philosopher;
mw. S.M. (Sylvia) Holla MA, sociologist. She engaged herself with several topics, such as attractiveness, sexual identity, the body and the body beautiful;
dhr. drs. R.P. (Reijer) Hendrikse, geographer and political economist. His research interests are broad. Amongst others, they include the political economy of scale, varieties of capitalism, European integration, regulation and financial crises.

1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass, Niels Soetens.

Curated by mw. Sanne Oorthuizen MA.

‘[…] political power also exercises itself through the mediation of a certain number of institutions which look as if they have nothing in common with the political power, and as if they are independent of it, while they are not. […] It seems to me that the real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear to be both neutral and independent; to criticise and attack them in such a manner that the political violence which has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them.’ [5] Michel Foucault

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1 Money, J (1990). Gay, Straight, and In-Between: The Sexology of Erotic Orientation. Oxford University Press. pp. 139.

2 The Chomsky-Foucault Debate (1971), Human Nature: Justice versus Power. http://www.chomsky.info/debates/1971xxxx.htm (March 2012).

3 Idem.

4 J.G. Ballard (1973), Crash. London, Jonathan Cape.

5 Idem 1,2.