In 2013 David Overend (UWS) and I began a collaborative research project exploring our everyday journeys between home and work and how the commute (from the Latin word commutare meaning “to change, transform, exchange”) could be conceived as a fertile ground for creativity, productivity and transformation.
Over a period of eighteen months David and I embarked on a series of experimental commutes undertaken in the west of Scotland by foot, bike, boat, train and swimming. Drawing on the nomadic theory of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, and Rosi Braidotti, our aim was to develop a performative ‘counterpractice’ that employs the metaphor of nomadism, and the ‘creative becoming’ the myth of the nomad encapsulates, to reimagine quotidian and functional journeys. Striving to develop a performative engagement with landscape, we consolidated this exploratory mobile research by developing a series of ‘strategies’ for reimagining the daily commute. These take the form of a list of prompts to performative action within the routines and spaces of commuting. We offer them to anyone who regularly travels to and from work to employ or develop as they wish.
To both disseminate and develop this research I have collaborated with a designer, Rachel O’Neill, to create postcards which encourage others to reimagine their everyday journeys. These postcards have been distributed to commuters on the Argyll Ferry between Dunoon and Gourock which is one of the stages of my journey to work. I wanted to explore the relational aspect of the everyday commute and to further develop my understanding of the possibility of creative engagement in the spaces between home and work. Over the coming weeks I will post the responses to this on this site.
This work will be shown at the Scottish Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities research showcase at the Lighthouse on the 25th June 4-7pm.