The Quartic Rides Again

It is the year 3300 and archeologists have dug up a ‘Quartic’ shaped steering wheel, believed to be from a 1973 Austin Allegro (1). Baffled by its unusual shape and hindered by a lack of resources to understand exactly what a 1973 Austin Allegro was (2), historians decide that the wheel must also have been a component of the first eco friendly mass transport system that heralded the golden age of Birmingham’s now fabled ‘mobility plan’ (3). Historians in 3300 are fascinated by the remains of the extensive canal system in the West Midlands and imagine the Quartic wheel to be a vital component to their operation, mainly due to the fact that they keep finding large numbers of them at the bottom of these canals.

The Quartic was believed to be a completely carbon neutral way for people to negotiate the cities that would become Birmiwoco (4). Powered by seagulls (5) and gaining speeds of up to 20 Iommi’s (6), it astounded people that you could travel from Tile Hill to Sedgely in under 4 days and that carriages that were ingeniously lit by plastic bottles filled with the mythical liquid ‘Council Pop’ (7). Bottles that survive are thought to have been decorated with markings by children. These are believed to signify good fortune and success, especially in the tough 11+ exams that children had to do to enter the Solihull Independent Free State, whilst their patterns are also routinely used as the basis for full body tattoos.

(1) Why 1300 years in the future? BAZ were fascinated with the 8 sided rounded ‘square’ shaped steering wheel that appeared on the early Austin Allegro models. The 1973 model was named the ‘1300’ and so BAZ were intrigued as to how people 1300 years in the future might respond to the same object. What if this was the only object that had survived?

(2) In 3300 BAZ imagine a scenario in which there is no sustainable electricity supply and all internet and paper records have been lost.
(3) One of the only remaining documents in the year 3300 is a laminated copy of the ‘Birmingham Mobility Plan’. This becomes known as ‘The Northfield Manuscript’ and resides in the International Kunsthalle of Obsolete Nations (The IKON). It is revered as artifact, akin to how we might view the Magna Carta, and is seen as valuable record of an ancient culture’s creativity and belief in 15 minute walking distances.
(4) Birmiwoco’ is the name given to the area previously occupied by Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry. Opposition to the formation of this new ‘Mega City’ was strong but once it was revealed that there would be a zip wire connecting Dudley Castle with the BT Tower, people soon warmed to the idea.
(5) In 3300 there are so many Seagulls in Birmiwoco that many have been domesticated and are considerd a primary provider of energy and transportation needs.
(6) In 3300, speed is calculated in ‘Tony Iommis’, based upon a looped recording of ‘Iron Man’ that was recovered from a Blue Peter lunar time capsule.
(7) In 3300 there is no clean water supply due to the Elan Valley becoming incorporatred in to the now vast Rea tidal estuary. ‘Council Pop’ was therefore widely sought after and mythologised. Many believed that it held mysterious luminous qualities.

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