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Travel and the notion of epitopic fields  


Travel as a form of spontaneous order within epitopic




Travel as convergence is about movement from a local to the trans local. What transcends the local is the political notion of internationalism. The traveller has that sense of movement from platitudes of the local. So just as a drifter appears next to, or besides place, but never of place, the traveller appears from place though ever moving, at speed, into place and from place.

However both embark on forms of travel. For each moment is identical to the next, and if change constitutes travel then what matters is the kind of change.

There are various forms of travel as per relative to the modality of travel. So a modality of slow-travel such as in bicycle travel generates a field. The field is intentional, as akin to the style of travel. The field has a spacial aspect. It is ascriptive to a set of events. An event has a location. It may be the phenomenon of ‘bystander interest’ that creates an event, and so allowing the traveller to use their relative position. When the traveller has a locale along with some happening that is generated by the traveller due to travel, then the fields are in conjunction forming a supervening or epitopic field.


The relative position might be in line with the picturesque view, as images depict the grand tour qua subjective struggle for identity. It could be functional in line with contemporary issues, such as personal health, or political as in progress towards use of low carbon systems’ for transport. Whatever the traveller narrative there appears a spontaneous order generated around an idiosyncratic theme.

The question of spontaneous may well be a relative truth pertaining to subjective instances within objective reality. That is objectively verifiable though subjectively incorrigible.

What then is the rationale of a travel practice for establishing subjective identity? It could be functional so as to accomplish some goal. It could be whimsical where decisions appear to be spontaneous. Or it could be a kind of performance, where each event is about movement, through geographic space. Any combination of the three will produce some traveller conflict. So to have a set goal, but along the way to the goal there is a spontaneous decision then the goal may be frustrated if constraints entail a prescriptive plan. A performance would fit along side having a goal as well as being spontaneous which makes this act as travel career the most flexible. Although a spontaneous act may not fit well with the travel document sense of order, if the performance is a cycle tour, but the spontaneous choice is to take a tangent to go spear fishing on a tropical island. If the central aim is to be spontaneous then this as itself is a goal which makes any act of spontaneity a goal, and so not spontaneous.


So from each of these three perspectives a travel practice generates the following logical order: if I go to place x then I could experience Y, but not Z that is contingent on the kind of goal or whim or performance, which then could be described as part of my travel career. A travel career if about discovering meanings and communicating with others through expressions of body and mind then constructs a kind of transcendent identity. So in a sense the person as distinct from the human being associated with a given locale that has a distinctive local identity pertaining to the kind of role played within a prescriptive community. The traveller as part of an imagined community exists a contingent field based on the kind of performance that is continually generated through the act of travel.


A Philosophical issue pertaining to mind/body dualism.

This expression is somewhat the basic view of what it is to be human. In its barest form it consists of an indivisible soul/mind and body. Travel by this view takes place by autonomous indivisible subject who is distinct from the body and by extension the location. A kind of transcendent subject. The subject is identical with the mind of the thinker, but not what is in the world. From this perspective travel only occurs in the mind.

However, if the basic view of a unitary self is contested by by notions of no-mind, or theories of a brain generated sense of self then this entails a non-dual account. The subject is eminent rather than transcendent, and so resembles the world by being part of it in an essential sense of micro physical stuff. The upshot is a traveller could imagine, and construct the destination. The basic movement of atomic events as a form of reality. Reality as a version of possible identity that has a referent to the traveller suggests there are multiple converging fields. If there is a field of conscience experience then it may reference subjective lives in ways that appear to objectively true and distinct from a subjective perspective.

It is through a travellers’ spacial practice that imagination turns into subjective intentionality. As intentionality consolidates it directs the traveller towards the destination as manifest imagination. The notion of manifest refers to travel performances as an art practice in a libertarian tradition or religious pilgrimage in the conservative tradition. The epitopic element refers to how a particular traveller manages to acquire a style. It distinguishes travel encounters from what exists on the field. These are performances that occur in an adjacent fashion. So the epitopic field of a cycle tourist is a slow version of the epitopic field generated by a tourist who uses motorised transport.


Styles of travel generates fields of being

The notion of travel styles appear even within a genera of cycle tourism as ways to determine a genuine independent mode of travel. The evidence for this are travellers’ who aim to distinguish themselves by what they carry on their journey, as well as the type of cycle. One traveller had gone round on a tall cycle as a bike fused on top on another, another with a dog, another goes to extremely remote locations loaded with panniers and a trailer too. Another has developed a hole thesis of bicycle touring by conducting an analysis journey through advocating touring as a life style.


The common thread for all the styles of travel is founded on a narrative where travellers’ bring out the journey through expression. A coherent experience thread is conceptualised as a depiction. The depiction could be based on the kinds of expression and intentionality, as if the new locale were next to (epi) the travellers’ imagined central national identity as place (topia). This is a picture theory of travel as a field where the person is the field.


The field generated from being a citizen.

Travel suggests’ a mode of nationality that is about consumption of the modality of travel. So in another sense epitopic travel is a positional perspective. The citizen of an advanced economy is embedded next to the citizen of a developing economy in ways that construct a kind of identity with given expressions and intentional states.

The field is related to a travel style, such as pedestrianism. A field is based on the kind of encounters. So, given the encounter, there would be divergent fields based on the kind of hybrid identity formed as a temporal time slice of a contingent qualitative self. The analysis is based on rapid movement of social interactions causing hybridisation, contrasted with the unitary self model of a settled situated placement of perception within a stable social locale.

This grass roots approach to travel by engaging with development can be a counterpoint to the more formal development institutions. The traveller can produce and reproduce local political grass roots voices that would not normally be situated within formal media general output as political discourse generated by a represented elite. This coined term refers to whatever occurs as a by-product to a travellers’ intention.

Its a distinct form of hybrid identity formulated through both the spacial and temporal practice. This can denote a philosophical pragmatic nature to travel that translates from positions of privilege. An example of a cycle tourist with digital recording devices. The mode of travel by cycle appears as underdeveloped, but not the paraphernalia that records the content of travel.

So on one hand the picturesque view as travel writer whist on the other side the cultural sojourner as literary exotic.

Though what of the role of artist as an intentional reflection. The notion of liberal arts advocate as traveller which is akin to being a ‘sophisticated traveller’ who as an independent traveller rallies against the corporate travel narrative that promotes place through consumption of the exotic, natural, or the culturally significant. That is travellers’ unlike ethnographers’ are not ‘positioned subjects’ by the way that travel even if slow is more akin to being a fuzzy subjectivity.

That is passing through elicits overt cultural behaviours from the onlookers as set within a global paradigm.

The notion of commodity entails modes of consumption that is coextensive with travel as a modern sense of tourist gaze requiring a complex infrastructure to accommodate the need to be gazed upon as that of being part of an advanced economy. This is contrasted to the historical notion of pilgrimage set within traditional client-patron relationships, rather than that of being a citizen within a nation state. What is required for the modern is a forms of destination travel that is striped of the goal for a transcendence. It entails sets of criteria such as essentialist constructions around place along with prescriptive sets of behaviours pertaining to normative desires like a budget bottom line, good value for money, amenities at the location, and excitements induced by nature or constructed as proper activity of enjoyment. The mass destination becomes the enclave that caters for a kind of travel need, and demands the travel to consume in line with mass consumption, and so is the demise of the ‘independent traveller’ of the classical style.

This process occurs as international travel within the context of globalization of nation states that are negotiated through world political discourses, such as balance-of-power, or the international relations discourse of interdependence. The modern traveller complies implicitly at least in part to any number of discourses. The input to a traveller can apply to a general state of affairs of a given geopolitical (political and geographic arrangements) setting, where the particular nation state shapes not only each others nation states, but more so the intentions who venture into its area of influence, which is usually denoted on a map as a political sphere of power, backed up by force.



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