The Kinematic Subject

The Vehicular Experience of Speed and Automobility in Virtuality/Reality

Violence of Embodiment

The removal of buffers entirely (such as suspension), creates a violent experience; a jarring concussion (Schnapp, 1999). Chaos is then defined as the lack of any buffers in an interface. In the hallucination sequence in 2001 a Space Odyssey (1968), there is no visible vehicle, or interface between the astronaut and his environment (besides his unpowered suit). This lack of a interface connotes a complete lack of buffers, which explains the violent movement. This sequence juxtaposes a violent subject against a smoothly moving spatial landscape. What is interesting here is that the violence of the subject is opposite to what happens in simulation subjectivity, where the subject is stationary (hence, the constant smooth perception of the environment), while the environmental speed is violent (due to the bumps of the road/point of view etc). Additionally, the subject has no control over speed or direction. In this case, the speed, or aging process, is an unwanted and horrific experience.