After stepping out of my truck on a huge open field, I walked toward the
track for the Monster Truck rally. As I approached, I could peer between
the bleachers and see nine enormous trucks lined up. They were some of
the icons of the Monster Truck world--Big Foot, Towasaurus, Predator,
American Guardian, Reptoid . . .
Let's get ready to rumm-b-l-e!!!!
Nothing could prepare me for the culture shock to come, not even my voracious
reading of books, web pages, or conversations with MT enthusiasts. The
scene was more intense than I could conjure: enormous trucks, deafening
sounds, thick clouds of exhaust, and visions of extreme physical force
as these 10,000 pound trucks flew into the air and crushed piles of cars
or performed free-style. Powerful immediate experiences like these during
fieldwork prompted me to consider artistic sensibilities cross-culturally.
My Monster Truck field sites were a striking contrast from my two previous
sites researching Japanese traditional dance in Tokyo and interactive
electronic music in the United States. All three of these field sites
offered me dramatic experiences which challenged my awareness for attending
to new performance contexts.
For the past three years I've been interviewing MT builders, drivers,
Have you been to a Monster Truck rally? Do you drive/build Monster Trucks?
Want to add to my research on Monster Trucks? Write
Steve Austin 3:16 "Stone Cold"
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