Nomadicity and the Care of Place—on the Aesthetic and Affective Organization of Space in Freelance Creative Work
While information and communication technology enables freelancers to work “anytime anywhere”, it has become apparent that not all places seem to be equally suitable for their work. Drawing from CSCW literature on the practical accomplishment of mobile work and theoretical literature on creativity, insights from ethnographic studies in New York, Berlin and Wiesbaden are discussed. The paper follows workers in their everyday attempts to seek out and enact work environments, which enable them to be creative and productive. In these processes, mobility features both as a problem and a resource. The search for the right place makes these workers restless, but sometimes restlessness and nomadicity can inspire creativity. Similarly, new mobile, social and collaborative technologies allow a new balancing of solitude and sociality. I call this emerging nexus of practices which entails aesthetic, affective, social and socio-political dimensions the care of place. A conjoint theoretical and empirical analysis aims to draw attention to everyday lived practices of nomadicity and the care of place in a wider discursive and socio-political context to inform CSCW design.