Progressive Slugging

April 21, 2009

Auto Dramas suggest Progressive Slugging by doing away with boxed-in rules of complacent, overly-private car pooling. A little history behind Slugging:
In wartime, carpooling was encouraged to save oil. In reducing the number of cars on the road, carpooling decreases pollution and the need for parking space, and in a global perspective, reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Shared driving carpooling can also reduce driving stress. A form of ad-hoc carpooling between strangers is called Slugging. No money changes hands, but a mutual benefit still exists between the driver and passenger(s) making the practice worthwhile.

Slugging, also known as casual carpooling, is the practice of forming ad hoc, informal carpools for purposes of commuting, essentially a variation of ride-share commuting and hitchhiking. While the practice is most common and most publicized in the congested Washington, D.C. area (where it is primarily used by commuters who live in Northern Virginia), slugging is also used in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and other U.S. cities. Sluggers gather at local businesses and at government-run locations, albeit not always with official sanction.

In practice, slugging involves the creation of free, unofficial ad hoc carpool networks, often complete with published routes and pick-up and drop-off locations. During rush hour, sluggers either drive to park and ride-like facilities, free parking lots for carpoolers, or take public transport to bus stops and metro stations with lines of sluggers. Drivers pull up to the queue for the route they will follow and either display a sign or call out the designated drop-off point they are willing to drive to and how many passengers they can take. Enough riders step forward to fill the car and the driver departs. There are a number of unofficial rules to the arrangement:

* No talking unless the driver initiates conversation.
* No open windows unless all passengers approve.
* No money will ever be exchanged or requested.
* Smoking and drinking beverages is prohibited, unless the driver permits it.
* The driver has full control of the radio; passengers may not request a station or volume change.
* Drivers are not to pick up sluggers en route to or standing outside the line, a practice referred to as “body-snatching”.

Slugging can trace its roots back to the Arab oil embargo of the 1970’s. During this era, gas prices soared, as it became apparent that the United States was dependent on foreign oil. In an attempt to reduce its dependence, the United States adopted a number of measures to curb gasoline consumption. Speed limits were reduced from 65+ m.p.h. to 55 m.p.h., car manufacturers were told to make cars more efficient, and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes were constructed. These lanes were for vehicles with more than three occupants. The benefit for the government was twofold: reduced gasoline consumption as well as some environmental benefits.

Auto Drama as community organizing

April 21, 2009

Community organizing is a process by which people living in proximity to each other are brought together in an organization to act in their common self-interest.

Development is a human process in the sense that it is human beings and not materials factors that are the driving force for development. The energy and aspiration of people who seek development forms the motive force that drives the development process. People’s awareness may decide the direction in which development will take place. Their efficiency, productivity, creativity and organizational capacities determine the level of people’s accomplishment and enjoyment. What is called development is only the outer realization of latent inner potentials.  All these factors come into play whether it is the development of the individual, family, community or nation or even the whole world

Why Auto Drama?

April 21, 2009

The impetus for the  Auto Drama blog came out of an Art and Ecological Ethics course at California College of the Arts (Kim Anno, professor).  This conceptual artwork is intended to enact social change by contributing to the end of single occupancy drivers by encouraging maximum occupancy. Auto Dramas will provide group interaction and entertainment in the car setting, allowing all participants to perform for each other, read to each other, learn other voices, and imagine together..

Note #1 on the use of Auto Drama

April 21, 2009

“While some people make theater, we all are theater.”- Augusto Boal

Auto Dramas are a type of theater that can be performed in a car, real or imaginary and the car can be moving or not moving. The performers are at the same time the audience in the same way that musicians have an opportunity to enjoy the music of their fellow bandmates while playing a song.

Auto Drama

April 21, 2009

An Auto Drama is a play that is not intended to be performed on a stage, but read or performed out loud by a small group in a car.


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