S.E.F.T.-1 Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada – Manned Railway Exploration Probe

Ivan Puig and Andres Padilla Domene

Project Description

S.E.F.T. is an art project that includes interaction and public diffusion. It proposes the physical exploration of disused railways as a starting point for reflection on, and investigation into, their historical and technological importance for society, their current circumstances and contexts. S.E.F.T. approaches topics related to the space, knowledge, movement, experience, memory and the road, in relation to tools and their obsolescence. Two poles of the social experience of the technology are at work here- utility and disuse. The project also bears witness to the ways in which the ideology of progress marks historical time. 

SEFT-1 is a pick-up truck equipped with a Hi-Rail system, a metal-wheel mechanism that enables it to move on rails. This exploratory probe’s objective is to record through photography, video, audio and text the life around the tracks, the people, the landscape, the infrastructure, etc. The information recorded is constantly uploaded to the project’s web page www.seft1.com, where the public will be able to follow the state of the probe, its location, and the routes traced by geo-positioning maps. Website visitors will also see images and videos of the probe’s journeys, and access contextual information edited by an investigation group. 

The probe can accommodate crew-members (Rail-nauts). For some populations through which the ship passes, the Rail-nauts will present information collected on previous journeys, working as a ferry of histories, and of questions between persons and places. 

During the journeys, the Rail-nauts will work on reflexive and creative processes concerning the SEFT-1 meetings: physical, photographic or sonic samples, interviews etc., which they will derive through different pieces in diverse disciplines (texts, installations, sculpture, actions, sonorous pieces, intervention in public areas, poetry, objects, video, etc.).