Passivity, Inattention, Cars, Multi-tasking, Manual, Work
Faculty Sponsor: Cheryl Foster, Philosophy
Wrench Yourself was originally conceived as a three part project. Part one, learning about the writing life, came to fruition through reading books on the craft. Part two involved producing a body of original, creative, non-fiction. Part three culminated in binding the polished pieces of writing in limited production, hand made, leather bound books.
At the completion of this project I have created a hand-made book containing two essays. The first essay, Driven to Distraction, focuses on inattention behind the wheel and the pervasiveness of multi-tasking as a societal norm. The second essay, Take the Time, seeks to question passivity by examining what people do with their time. While focusing on different themes, both essays address automotive passivity by advocating an active mode of engagement with one’s vehicle, whether through driving or repair.
While the final product reflects the first and third goals as stated above, the second goal—writing—took on a mind of its own. Initially intended to function as a manual for novice mechanics, the resulting essays, in fact, focus not on how an automobile works but on often tacit dimensions of the human engagement with cars. While rooted in the examples of driving and wrenching, these essays seek to make the reader question his or her self; personally question the quality of attention as well as the use of time. That is, after all, the purpose of this project’s double edged title: to have the reader wrench his or her self from inattention and passivity, perhaps by putting a wrench in hand.