Affordable Access

Two journeys: The Machine with 5 Hearts; Duchamp and Travel

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Publication Date
  • Mathematics
  • Physics


The 'posthuman' condition described by Katherine Hayles (1999), looks to the definitions of Hans Moravec and beyond these to the pioneering thinking of Alan Turing. I have begun to make a detailed study of an event that seems to predict these definitions of hybrid forms when Marcel Duchamp wrote the notes for his automobile journey in 1912, called The Jura-Paris Road. The note appears in his Notes for the Green Box (1934) and in the later group of Notes, published after his death by Pierre Matisse (1980). In his description of this journey, Duchamp and his fellow travellers seem to network with one another while merging their sensibilities with the electrical processes and mechanics of the automobile. The characters that Duchamp describes in this note make them early precursors of the cyborg condition and part of this presentation will be devoted to an examination of this relationship. Also, Duchamp makes suggestions about the spatial distances and temporal register of the journey. This synthesis between the travellers, their car and the physical features of the road, (its length, time and its surface condition) suggests also the strange geometries that he began to investigate with his Three Standard Stoppages of 1913. I will also be looking at a separate journey that Duchamp took in the spring of 1912 that seems to predict this interest in dimensional and topological thinking.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.