Rhythmic Routes: Developing a nomadic physical practice for the daily commute

David Overend, Laura Bissell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How can the contemporary performance practitioner maintain a deterritorialised, nomadic existence within the regulated systems of twenty-first century mobile life? Elliott and Urry (2010) argue that ‘life “on the move” appears to unfold faster and faster in the early days of the twenty-first century, as people become more reliant upon interdependent, digitised systems’. In contrast, the nomad is an aspirational figure, ‘cut free of roots, bonds and fixed identities’ (Pearson, 2010). Responding to the increasingly globalised context of mobilities and Braidotti’s (2011) notion of ‘becoming-nomad’, this keynote asks whether nomadism can offer an alternative to the physical cultures created through the systemisation and repetition of everyday journeys. Rejecting conventional narratives of the ‘weary and dystopian commuter’ (Edensor, 2011), we aim to develop a series of performative interventions that reimagine commuting as a creative and productive embodied practice with the potential for nomadic disruptions to the routines and rhythms of our everyday journeys.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScottish Journal of Performance
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • commuting
  • mobilities
  • nomadism
  • performance
  • journeys


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