The Kinematic Subject

The Vehicular Experience of Speed and Automobility in Virtuality/Reality

object, which can then be reproduced (through projection). Stroboscopy alters the life duration of objects and events by representing them from past to present; extending the lifespan. On the other hand, dromoscopy alters the point of view within space over a period of time, creating the illusion of a live environment; one in which all 'stationary' objects whiz past the dromoscopic device. While one theory appears to be based on temporality, the other appears to be based on spatiality. The point here is that the devices that one can use to manipulate and record their movement through space utilise these two concepts simultaneously. Such instruments include the cinematographic video camera (a camera that records successive frames), and computer simulations (video games).

In visual time-based media, speed is experienced in a projected sequence of images/stimuli, formed by stroboscopic technologies. This experience relies on the stroboscopic effect; that of a sequence of still frames displayed at a frame rate to give the illusion of motion. Most cinemas use this at the rate of 24 frames per second (fps), whereas state of the art video game engines can render beyond 100 fps.

The experience of speed is based on the subjectivity of perception, rather than whether the subject is truthfully moving or not. Therefore, a distinction should be made between objective speed experience and subjective speed experience. The easiest way to do this, is to focus on subjectivity; that of a single point of view; of the movement within a first person perspective.

Speed and the Kinematic Subject

To define speed, most often one would think of objective speed; that of the true, measurable acceleration and velocity of an object's motion. While this is beneficial for measurement of vehicular performance, it does not explain how illusions of speed can be experienced.

There are (as far as current technology goes) two forms of speed experience. That of the true transportation through space, and that of the illusion of travelling through space. These two forms are created by two methods: stroboscopy, and dromoscopy.

-drome: combined form, denoting a place for running, racing, or other forms of movement (Reader's Digest Oxford, 1993: 449)

-scopy: combined form, indicating viewing or observation, usually with an instrument ending in -scope (Reader's Digest Oxford, 1993: 1381)

stroboscope: noun, an instrument for determining speeds of rotation etc. by shining a bright light at intervals so that a rotating object appears stationary (Reader's Digest Oxford, 1993: 1544)

From these definitions we can define dromoscopy as the use of a medium (an instrument) for observing and experiencing speed. On the other hand, stroboscopy appears to be the use of a medium for the virtual storage of a moving