Friday, 9 May 2014

Rhythmic Routes: Developing a nomadic performance practice for the daily commute

The Whittaker Library at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland warmly invites you to the first event in our new series of free lunchtime talks and displays:

On THURSDAY 22nd MAY at 1pm
Dr Laura Bissell (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) &
Dr David Overend (University of the West of Scotland)
will share their research into
A short talk, in an informal setting, with coffee and cake. FREE. All welcome.

Documentation and library materials relating to the talk will soon be on display in the Whittaker Library.

Rhythmic Routes: Developing a nomadic performance practice for the daily commute

How can the contemporary theatre practitioner maintain a deterritorialised, nomadic existence within the regulated systems of twenty-first century mobile life? Elliott and Urry (2010) argue that ‘life “on the move” appears to unfold faster and faster in the early days of the twenty-first century, as people become more reliant upon interdependent, digitised systems’. In contrast, the nomad is an aspirational figure, ‘cut free of roots, bonds and fixed identities’ (Pearson, 2010). Responding to the increasingly globalised context of mobilities and Braidottis (2011) notion of ‘becoming-nomad’, this paper asks whether nomadism can offer a credible alternative to the systemisation and repetition of everyday journeys.

The paper introduces and reflects on an ongoing collaborative research project by David Overend and Laura Bissell. Focussing on the everyday rhythms of commuting, this practice-based enquiry explores time and space together through ‘rhythmanalysis’ (Lefebvre 1992) to understand the commute as a space of creative resistance and possibility. Rejecting conventional narratives of the ‘weary and dystopian commuter’ (Edensor 2011), Overend and Bissell aim to develop a series of performative interventions that reimagine commuting as a creative and productive ‘mobile practice’ with the potential for ‘nomadic disruptions’ to the routines and rhythms of our everyday journeys.


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