Our cars contain us. We are immersed in the commuting culture for most of our lives, no matter who does the driving. To many it is a “me” time, when driving alone, listening to the music, learning a foreign language, or memorizing a verse, singing along, training one’s voice time, talking on the speakerphone to those one never has time for, or listening to recorded literature in a presence of ever-changing landscapes and events. Some use that time to think, rethink, reorganize, plan, or retrospect and find out some solutions. At the same time, we belong to the road with other cars, tracks, moving houses, other drivers, objects, and whatever we need to divide our attention for. The interior and the exterior intermix and become one unified world of a driver and a car.
We rely on the trucks for many reasons and it is part of our daily routine to pass a truck driver, or see a truck moving in front of us. The truckers spend a lot of time in their cars relying on technologies. They spend a lot of time behind the wheel and develop specific culture, routine, and habits. They share stories, and then feel some parts of them present in their heads during the long days or nights on the road. Everything has a deadline, expiration date, or a contract to obey.
In computing everything can be done many different ways with different approaches. This collaborative work suggests some solutions for particular moods displayed by selecting an area to hear some related to the area of an image tune, someone’s thoughts, and see them typed out for better comprehension.
We observe other drivers reacting to many signals prompting them to react properly. On the stop light we see all faces smiling of those turning left fast, as if they’d be immersed in a chair of a merry-go-round.
This work incorporates the topic of senses: what we lost as a kind (or a specie), how we support our senses, how we evoke different meaning by generating some interacting content, etc. We possess many more senses than our kindergarten teachers tell us about. We use them while driving, whether we acknowledge it, or not.
When the self-driving cars will fully take over, all that immersive experience of being part of the car will be replaced by the experience of a train, plane, a boat, or a taxi commuter. No concurrent attention, and not much interaction with the outside of the car world. New reality. Just one polite car.
Anna Ursyn runs Computer Graphics/Digital Media
Stuart Smith is a musician and a programmer with a career at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell