Dwelling in motion: Some experiments in being a long-distance passenger

Authors: Lauren Wagner*, Maastricht University
Topics: Field Methods
Keywords: mobility, presence, dwelling, interaction, encounter, infrastructure
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Regency Ballroom, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


“She thinks it’s sort of like being a water bug, living on the surface tension of some kind of liquid. Seduced by the sense of an incipient vitality lodged in things, but keeping oneself afloat, too.” (Stewart 2007: 41)

This paper presents some experiments in the embodied, affective and material encounters enabled by being in transit over land for longer than 24 hours. As a form of travel that is increasingly available in some markets and increasing marginal in others, long-distance overland travel offers a different perspective to what others have investigated in terms of the shared spaces of transit, like commuter trains and aeromobilites, by exploring what happens when people are stuck together, moving with each other while still skimming along a vital surface. Taking these as sites of ‘dwelling’ - where bodies, technologies and social and material infrastructures are shaped along with human needs and activities over time - I explore the activities of ‘dwelling-in-motion’ required by the persistent presence of being trapped in long-distance travel.

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