Associate Head of School, School of Fine Arts,
Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Dr. David L. Pike
Professor, Department of Literature,
Wayne Barrar is a photographer who is interested in how people use and manipulate underground space. His book, “An Expanding Subterra,” depicts hidden underground worksites of mines, power stations, universities, storage facilities, and offices, as well as the surreal domestic world of the subterranean homes in Coober Pedy, an opal mining town in South Australia. He shares 71 of his photos, many of which show surprisingly elaborate underground homes and other structures.
Dr. David Pike presents his findings on his project, “The Bunker Fantasy.” He explains that the project is based on two basic questions: 1) What happens to built underground environments meant to be indestructible when they become obsolete? and 2) What is so compelling about these spaces – why do we build them when they usually prove to be totally useless and why do we keep visiting them after the fact? Dr. Pike’s books include “Metropolis on the Styx: The Underworlds of Modern Urban Culture, 1800–2001,” “Subterranean Cities: The World Beneath Paris and London, 1800–1945,” and “Passage Through Hell: Modernist Descents, Medieval Underworlds.”
Recorded: November 14, 2012