Journal Title: Wide Screen
Vol. 9, No.1, July 2022
Abstract: My essay examines the Pandemic-era rekindling of the romance with the automobile, making it (once again) one of the key places to access entertainment. Central to the regeneration of this love affair is the assumption that our car is a safe space, enabling mobility through a world where infection is potentially all around us. This assumption of the car as a safe space dates back almost a hundred years. For that reason, my essay is divided into two halves. In the first half I will examine the development of the automobile as both an extension of the home and the self, utilizing a phenomenological lens informed by the work of Gaston Bachelard and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. In the second half, I will then examine how these ideas have shaped our conception of the automobile as one of the few (and favorite) safe spaces during the Pandemic – providing a unique bubble of health and safety in which we have been able to navigate a world many have perceived as infected and unsafe.