Day in the life of a country road

Jeanne van Heeswijk captured the thoughts of motorists in a video that explores a day in the life of a country road.

On long car journeys it is not uncommon to wonder what other motorists are thinking. Be it their gestures or facial expressions that pique your curiosity, we've all spared a couple of minutes to imagine what occupies the minds of fellow drivers and passengers. 

Jeanne van Heeswijk had also been thinking about this and went on to explore it in her project, Amnesia of a Landscape, in collaboration with Brechtje Schoofs, Paul Sixta, Aram Voermans, Marten Winters and Marcel van der Meijs. 

Focusing on the mental aspects of people during a physical journey along a road, Dutch interaction designer Van Heeswijk captured the visual changes of motorists' behaviours in a video.

The project titled Amnesia of a Landscape used the N470 country road, connecting Delft, Rotterdam and Zoetermeer in the Netherlands, to inquire into the thoughts of road users. Van Heeswijk aimed to answer questions such as: What are a motorist’s thoughts? Will they change as the route and scenery changes? Will they bring their memories of the old road along to the new one?  

Van Heeswijk filmed 120 participants by fixing a camera into each car and observed how motorists percieve new roads and respond to their surrounding environment. The film focused on what people do, look at and say aloud while driving.

Individual videos of the reactions of participants were made, while the project can also be viewed as a 12-hour film... or a day in the life of a country road.

Amnesia of a Landscape was first presented in 2008 and is now on show at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s 25 Years Rotterdam City Collection exhibition until 1 September 2013.  

Watch the Talk with Jeanne van Heeswijk