[NetBehaviour] Overland: First leg to Human Nature

Ruth Catlow ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org
Sat Sep 5 10:59:01 CEST 2009

Hi all,
and thanks for the encouragement Mark, Annie and Helen. Helen very much
looking forward to seeing you in Istanbul and good luck with your
Upstage preparations.
cheers to all!

>>London, UK to Brussels, Belgium to Frankfurt, Germany to Linz,

I left at 7.15am this morning. Making the journey to Linz alone- sniff!
On arrival at St Pancras my main preoccupation was food; breakfast,
lunch and dinner for the 12hr journey ahead of me. For the last week I
had it in the back of my mind to pack and prepare food from our local
Turkish shops, just as I had been wondering about an imaginative and
harmless source of new luggage. In both cases, in the end, I turned to
big brand emporiums because they catered to my poor planning. hmmm.
Passing painlessly through customs I trail round the shops in a daze
browsing the fiction best seller list (untempted) and buy medicines for
potential minor ailments and discomforts, for sticky fingers, stale
breath, dickie tummies & headaches.

I am surprised by how full of human beings Western Europe is and how
comprehensively our species has established itself and occupied and
organised the landscape- agricultural or urban- for efficient systems of
fast living. Networks of roads, electricity stations, lines and pilons
along with the occasional smattering of wind turbines and banks of solar
panels span the cultivated fields and vineyards punctuated by towns and
towering modern cities like Frankfurt. Lots of people (including me)
text and talk on their mobile phones as we go along. Once in the towns
an explosion of media coming at you from every surface and through the
earwaves. So many of us - all living such hungry existences. 

In the course of chatting with two fellow travellers, one a trader in
old coins from Boston, and the other a Psychology student from Vienna it
becomes clear that they equate flying long distances with all good
things in life and that they plan to do a lot of it in the near future.
Ironically taking to the sky may be the only way most people (in the
West anyway) get to experience wilderness of any kind. 

It was great to get here and be met by Aileen and Peter at the station.
Now to Ars Electronica's 30 year celebration festival
http://www.aec.at/humannature/en/ themed 'Human Nature', which they
introduce as follows 
"We are entering a new age here on Earth: the Anthropocene. An age
definitively characterized by humankind’s massive and irreversible
influences on our home planet. Population explosion, climate change, the
poisoning of the environment and our venturing into outer space have
been the most striking symbols of this development so far."

...and perhaps some planning for the journey ahead.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Hancock <mark at memecortex.net>
To: ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org, NetBehaviour for networked distributed
creativity <netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] bon voyage!
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 18:46:45 +0100

Well done Ruth,

It's a brilliant idea and excellent that you're talking about how hard
it is to actually do all of this as well. It would be wrong to just say
it had been done and not discuss the factors involved. The most I'm
managing right now is cycling to my residency in Coventry on a borrowed
bike. And not  then, managing everyday. That sounds like a flippant
thing to say, but once you start to think about what might be done to
make a difference, it all starts to factor in. Even cycling has it's

Looking forward to your posts. Have fun in Linz and Istanbul. Am really
grumpy I couldn't get there this year!


2009/9/2 Ruth Catlow <ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org> 

        Well I am completely un-prepared for the 10 day train adventure
        that starts tomorrow. But I do have tickets so my overland trek
        to Ars in Linz and then on to /ETC in Istanbul with Aileen is
        definitely happening. So many people have been interested in
        joining us and then have been put off by the time, expense,
        mind-bending planning etc. and right now I can't say I blame
        them. It does all seem really mad.
        Anyway I plan to post my ruminations on overland travel as an
        alternative to air travel to Netbehaviour for the next 10 days.
        If anyone else is shunning the air and crossing by land for
        artistic purposes in the next couple of weeks perhaps they'd
        like to do the same. 
        Looking forward to travelling with you. 
        bon voyage!
        NetBehaviour mailing list
        NetBehaviour at netbehaviour.org

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