The seat and the saddle: How slow is quick and fast is stuck

Tim Ingold* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This brief essay reflects on what it means to go slow and fast. Drawing an analogy with a river, the waters of which run sluggishly near the banks but pick up speed in midstream, it contrasts both speed and slowness with the measure of velocity, calculated as the ratio of metric distance to chronological time, premised on the assumption that movement transports the traveller from one point to another, as from bank to bank across the river. This difference between going along (joining with the river current) and going across (taking the bridge) is linked to alternative modalities of perception, which depend on whether the traveller can maintain an upright posture with all-around vision, or whether their vision, from a reclining position, is oriented only forward. In the history of transport, this distinction is linked to that between the saddle and the seat. Re-entering the current of life means exchanging the seat for the saddle.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCycling & Walking for Regional Development
Subtitle of host publicationHow Slowness Regenerates Marginal Areas
EditorsPaolo Pileri, Rossella Moscarelli
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-44003-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-44002-2, 978-3-030-44005-3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameResearch for Development
ISSN (Print)2198-7300
ISSN (Electronic)2198-7319

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021.


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