‘Animal Aesthetics of Early Automobility’
17 October 2022, 4.30pm UK time
About Timo Müller
Professor of American Studies at the University of Konstanz, Germany, Timo Müller was the recent recipient of an ERC Consolidator Grant for his project “Off the Road: The Environmental Aesthetics of Early Automobility.”
“In times of climate crisis, there is wide agreement that we need a more environmental approach to automobility. “Off the Road” addresses this challenge by highlighting a largely forgotten fact: that automobility was a thoroughly environmental experience before the current system of closed cars on concrete roads emerged. This environmental automobility was particularly widespread in the United States, where much driving occurred in off-road conditions well into the 1920s.
Motorists navigated through mud, sand, and water, constantly exposed to the elements and acutely aware of their surroundings. Early automobility thus engendered unprecedented modes of relating to the environment - modes that have never been systematically researched.”