Tim Cresswell - Dromologies
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Tim Cresswell - Dromologies



keynote speech by Tim Cresswell at The Mobile City conference on Feb. 28 2008 in NAi Rotterdam Netherlands

keynote speech by Tim Cresswell at The Mobile City conference on Feb. 28 2008 in NAi Rotterdam Netherlands



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Tim Cresswell - Dromologies Tim Cresswell - Dromologies Presentation Transcript

  • Dromologies: Towards a Politics of Mobility Tim Cresswell Department of Geography Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Three Ideas
    • Dromology (Paul Virilio) - concerns the power to stop and put into motion, to incarcerate and accelerate objects and people.
    • Social Kinetics (Norman Bryson) - a field which would chart the history of socially-structured movement.
    • Kinetic Elite (Peter Sloterdijk) - a more or less insulated group of people who are able to move around the world at will
  • The Politics of Mobility
    • The Politics of Movement
    • The Politics of Meanings for Mobility
    • The Politics of Practiced Mobility
  • The Politics of Mobility
        • The world respects the rich man who turned to be a globe-trotter and uses first class cabins and Pullman cars, but has inclination to look over his shoulder at the hobo who, to satisfy this so strong impulse, is compelled to use box-cars, slip the board under the Pullman or in other ways whistle on the safety of his life and integrity of his bones.
        • (Ernest Burgess archives of the University of Chicago Special Collections, box126, p.13)
  • 1.Motive Force
    • Why does a thing move?
    • Those “high up” are satisfied that they travel through life by their heart’s desire and pick and choose their destinations according to the joys they offer. Those “low down” happen time and again to be thrown out from the site they would rather stay in (…) If they do not move, it is often the site that is pulled away from under their feet, so it feels like being on the move anyway. (Bauman, 1998. 86-7)
  • 2. Velocity
        • How fast does a person or thing move?
        • The blindness of the speed of means of communicating destruction is not a liberation from geographical servitude, bit the extermination of space as the field of freedom of political action. We only need refer to the necessary controls and constraints on the railway, airway or highway infrastructures to see the fatal impulse: the more speed increases, the faster freedom decreases (Virilio 1986, 142)
        • … CittáSlow, in promoting the development of small towns (of 50,000 inhabitants or less) represents the interests of a particular spatial-cultural constituency and related localized form of capital. In a sense them, and without being unduly cynical, [CittáSlow] could be seen as defending enclaves of interest, rather than offering plausible models for more general social transformation (Tomlinson, 2007, 147)
  • 3. Rhythm
    • With what rhythm does a person or thing move?
        • The noise grows, grows in intensity and strength, at its peak becomes unbearable, though quite well borne by the stench of fumes. Then stop. Let’s do it again, with more pedestrians. Two minute intervals. Amidst the fury of the cars, the pedestrians cluster together, a clot here, a lump over there; grey dominates, with multicoloured flecks, and these heaps break apart for the race ahead. Sometimes, the old cars stall in the middle of the road and the pedestrians move around them like waves around a rock, though not without condemning the rivers of the badly placed vehicles with withering looks. Hard rhythms; alternations of silence and outburst, time both broken and accentuated, striking he who takes to listening from his window, which astonishes him more than the disparate movements of the crowds. (Lefebvre, 2004, 29)
  • 4. Route
    • What route does a person or thing take?
        • The State needs to subordinate hydraulic force to conduits, pipes, embankments, which prevent turbulence, which constrain movement to go from one point to another, and space itself to be striated and measured, which makes the fluid depend on the solid, and flows proceed by parallel, laminar layers. The hydraulic model of nomad science and the War Machine, on the other hand, consists in being distributed by turbulence across a smooth space, in producing a movement that holds space and simultaneously affects all of its points, instead of being held by space in a local movement from one specified point to another.(Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 362).
    • Space-time no longer corresponds to Euclidean space. Distance is no longer the relevant variable in assessing accessibility. Connectivity (being in relation to) is added to, or even imposed upon, contiguity (being next to)” (Offner in Graham and Marvin 2001, 200)
  • 5. How does it feel?
    • How is mobility experienced?
    • “ Walking was for the poor, the criminal, the young, and above all, the ignorant (…). Only in the 19th century, following the example set by Wordsworth and Coleridge, did people of leisure take to walking as an end in itself, beyond the confines of the landscaped garden or gallery” (Ingold, 2004, 322).
  • 6. Friction
    • How and when does mobility stop?
    • “ global interconnections between highly valued spaces, via extremely capable infrastructure networks, are being combined with strengthening investment in security, access control, gates, walls, CCTV and the paradoxical reinforcement of local boundaries to movement and interaction within the city” (Graham and Marvin 2001, 206).
  • The Vagabond
    • … is a person who has no established home and drifts from place to place without visible or lawful means of support.
  • The Vagabond
    • Bern Council 1481 (1483, 1503, 1510, 1515…etc)
    • Removal of all poor people who were not residents of Bern
    • By 1523 - all deserving poor to wear badges
    • Repeat offenders branded with cross on forehead
  • The Vagabond
    • Behind the construction of forms of law about behaviour and place
    • Behind the construction of biometrics and identity documents
    • But also central to narrative of resistance.
  • The Vagabond
    • 1599 - Mateo Alemán published the novel Guzmán de Alfarache.
    • The invention of the ‘Picaresque’.
    • “ Picaro” - referring to vagabonds
    • Predates Robinson Crusoe as birth of modern novel - rooted in the stories of wandering poor as a critique of the rich.
    • Spawned road movies, Charlie Chaplin, Dylan etc.
  • From Topology to Dromology - Rfid
  • Remember History!
    • “ We are on the extreme promontory of the centuries! What is the use of looking behind at the moment when we must open the mysterious shutters of the impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We are already living in the absolute, since we have already created eternal, omnipresent speed” .
    • The Futurist Manifesto, Marinetti, 1909
  • Suburban Train Arriving in Paris (1915) Gino Severini