I tried to use the wind at an angle and paddle Nanyang Map quickly across to the other side of the lake. But before we were halfway the rain Nanyang Map arrived, sleeting down. I was already wearing my anorak (and everything else) against the cold, and I pulled the hood over my face. The animal dung I’d collected got wet and made a mess of the canoe floor, leaving me sitting in a brown puddle of liquid dung. Somehow it didn’t make me want to laugh. It was a pretty miserable person who finally reached the beach and packed up her canoe with hands that were painfully numb.
Additionally, travel on the road does not preclude other multi-sensory and embodied conditions such as the affective qualities of speed/motion and sound both within and beyond the interior of the car. It also includes the sensual transference of feeling between the control of the car and physical texture of the road surface. The built environment of the Tollway, comprising multi-level interchanges, bridges and flyovers, tolling gantries and electronic signs, footbridges and roadside protective barriers where light reflects upon and refracts across the artificial surfaces as well the multiple moments afforded by on and off ramps to enter and exit the route, all feed into a complex series of flows and matrices that connect spaces, times, representation and sensations’ (Edensor 2003: 154). For Reed, the variance in the EastLink Tollway’s material conditions is dramatized by a curve of the road, by the slope or detail of a wall, by a swathe of mass plantings, a bridge, a tunnel or a sculpture’ (2008: 70). This theatricality is also present when passing Hotel with its uncanny ability to momentarily suggest it is something more than an elaborate artwork.
Typical perceptions by motorists encountering the Tollway’s artworks for the first time encapsulate notions of novelty, while regular road users passing the forms on a regular basis are able to identify with them as familiar and arguably reassuring components of the journey. In many ways they offer motorists points of orientation … to which the … imagination may extend as a sort of virtual travel’ (Edensor 2003: 159), functioning as entities that can be apprehended through an imaginative engagement’ (Edensor 2003: 159), while leaving traces of their aesthetic qualities with the motorist. All of the public artworks located throughout the landscape of the EastLink Tollway assist in establishing the conditions for a complex, associational, and folded geography’ (Edensor 2003: 156), as they have been interwoven into the fabric of the roadside environment. They elicit the traces of ideas, memories and events along with the other permanent and semi-permanent surroundings of the Tollway such as petrol stations, advertising billboards or broken-down motorists.