Amsterdam Bike Reincarnation

Author: Tsui Kuang-Yu

It would be strange if a cyclist never lost his bike in Amsterdam. But this doesn’t seem to bother the local people. You can easily buy a stolen bike for 10 Euros from the street or a second hand shop. This is how it begins: You buy a bike, and one day it gets stolen, dissembled and reassembled for sale. Then another person comes along and buys the bike. These stolen bikes dissolve quickly into the system, and this cycle shapes the bicycle transportation system in Amsterdam. The police can never keep up with the high speed “organic” cycle, and so their tolerance has made them the silent accomplice. Police surveillance only shows how unbreakable the cycle is. When a police checks a bike, he would find that somehow it looks like every other reported stolen bike. The identity of each bike is ambiguous. In other words,  all the dealers, buyers and even the police are participants who help the cycle grow.

To demonstrate the cycle, I made a social experiment by involving the police and the thief, showing that the two normally opposing parties could in fact be collaborators. All the bikes that are stolen or disassembled in the film were placed there beforehand for the purpose of the experiment. Neither the police nor the thief knew about it. This way, their act might constitute theft, but no crimes were actually committed.

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Location Code: AV.TKY.ABR
Language: English and Dutch, text in English; title and subtitle in Chinese (Traditional) and English
Year of Publication: 2007