Writing on Non-Spaces 

Non-Spaces on Color.
I wonder why it is daylight that is intended to make us feel safe?
Why evolution made the light a priority?
Which type of light is best— the real or the digital?
Digital light is something that emits from the third brain; if one is in our head cavity, and one is supposedly in our stomach, then the third one is transitory, but often in our hand. ^1.

Fluorescent beams of horizontality mimimic my horizontality in this space— I continue moving.
Florescence is another type of light. It is blue hued, cool. It tries to replicate the digital. It tries to replicate a type of calmness that one has in the digital. Anonymity, indifference.
We can pretend to care by a swipe or a tap. That flicker of a movement is caring. That synapse of light is caring. Like the light, it is synthetic and therefore safe.

The room here is without color. Shades of gray and white differentiate sections of the walls.
The ceiling is a grid; it is well above your head.
This place is shifting.
Few bursts of bright color from the signs are barely visible even in the mass of gray and light.
For some reason, I consider them without color even though I know it is acutely
present.
I try to make my breathing less noticeable because these lacking colors are so close.
Might my breath sounds illuminate

my mortality?

Non-Spaces on Space
I walk inside a hallway, a room perhaps. It’s hard to tell.

What makes a hallway? What makes a room?
A hallway is a place of transit. It is the temporal state of moving from point A to point B. The nothingness between point A and point B is a hallway. A place that shifts dependent on the subject and the subject’s relationship to point A, and B. We fill the hallways of historical sites with information. Grandiose ways to open the history of the subject and the site. Hallways in settings without history only consider the efficiency that space might provide. A space where someone may disinfect their hands as they move.
Erasure.
Consider a place with no hallways; no gaps between site. Is it but a container for the subject?
A room is a space of intent. It is located. We think of it in terms of memory: past, present and future.
With the constant push for efficiency in this site, architecture has begun to rely on globalized user experience. This is not as you would expect, through individualization to the modern evolutional appendage.
Rather, one where spaces of intent are lost to a psychological state of apathy. A PSA, if I may. Our push for a progressive utopia has left human-ness behind to move toward a rigid fixture. So mute, in its depiction of the real that the mind is left to wander toward the social- of the digital- counterpart.
We are given excess, but in the form of the minimal. The Super-Modern.
The minimal allows for narcissism to invade its form. A Super-Modern illness.

We are without questioning, and with that, without place.
This site is that lacking of place.

Non-Spaces on Bodies
This place is one marked by constant use, but not of constant tenants. To propose that the social climate of first world urban cities has brought about a PSA, forces me to consider the conditions that are symptomatic of its original causation.

The floor in this space is slippery, but not with moisture; the slick vinyl flooring has been disinfected, so that it gleams with untouched sheen.
This is momentary.
I stride down the hallway, my head lowered.
I wonder if what is said about the millennial generation losing muscle mass in the jaw is true?
My feet mark the gleaming surface of the floor.
Though there is no trace of the previous passerby, who might have walked before me?
Were their eyes, also, looking for the previous passerby, or were they fixated on their digital light appendage?

The reflection in the floor is also cool toned; it matches the monitors lining the hallway.
The difference between the monitors, and the ceiling, and the outside is barely noticeable.
As you move, numbers demarcating space also move— increasing. You only notice this in relation to the one you seek. It’s that PSA again.
Rows of seats fill the spaces under those numbers demarcating space. Some seats face each other and some face away. They are gray too, metal. Bodies fill their seats. Every space is filled, even that empty space.
It’s all quite organized.
Organized excess.

I lower myself into the body of the chair. I fold into a pseudo-relaxed position. My palms slide down the leg of my trousers to stabilize my body as it bends forward. I am planted firmly in the ground through the balls of my feet. The seat fits an average body comfortably but my hip bones dig mildly into its steel frame.
Do other people experience this?
My eyes wander, but only momentarily, until I catch yours. I look down, uncomfortably. This was an invasion. A spatial invasion. I close my eyes and tilt my head back, feigning relaxation but I am too tall to rest my head on the back of the seat. Knowing I must look awkward, my eyes flicker open —this is caring. I glance around again and make eye contact with an other. I lower my eyes again.
What must others think, of the spastic movements from this subject?
I remind myself that these were micro-movements.
Only large in relation to myself. Everyone is fixated on the evolutional appendage in their hand.
No one cares.
I take this moment to scout the interior of this non-hallway/ non-room.
Though I am facing another row of seats, with bodies filling their spaces, I am also facing a wall of glass. It reflects the space back at me. It reflects the rows of seats and the disinfected, now trodden floor. I see the grid ceiling, and the rows of fluorescent light above me. I see cords and other mechanisms that power the interior. Perhaps the exterior too. There are metal ventilation systems and pipes of sorts. They blend into the ceiling and the grid well. I follow them for awhile but they eventually disappear within another sub-interiority that I cannot see. I move to the gray and white walls. There are columns, square. Signage and other forms of mapping are present, universal symbols, mostly, and directional forms. The monitors are there too. Little stands with charging stations for our unsustainable appendages are littered about the space. Other doors are markedly placed in the space. All the signifiers are for efficiency.
I hardly notice those others more permanently in the space, there clothing blends in but is also distinctly more noticeable than the others.
This is not a room or a hallway to them.

Non-Spaces on Consumerism.
I think about EDM in this space. Electronic Dance Music
I think about how a Non-Space is easily reproducible and how EDM is easily reproducible. Its looped beats. Non-Spaces are looped spaces. They are circular, logically.
You move through one and your body has moved through all of them.
A universal language.
It’s conditioned behavior.
I think about EDM because I think about how the people that enjoy EDM move in that space. They go there to have an experience, the only way to enjoy EDM is on drugs.
Then you don't enjoy EDM, you enjoy the drugs, and you enjoy the mundane loops that allow you to be somewhere else.

It’s like that evolutional appendage.
EDM is a space of transit, mentally.

I spoke with a Harvard business graduate, he is a CEO and works in financial consulting. He works with companies like Wal-Mart. He thinks that progress means that we don't have to think as much about the spaces we inhabit anymore. Progress means less thinking to him.
His subjectivity will never be questioned in an institutional space. In Non-Spaces.

He likes EDM.

Non-Spaces on Sound.
This is taking place for 47 minutes and 48 seconds.
Sound emits above you head. It pulses through your body, your chest.
Most of it you don't notice.
Our bodies are polluted by vibrational noise constantly. Before we even formed our ear drums, our body was listening.
When we were just a single cell our body was listening—feeling. What were the vibrations of space like then?

Another sound begins emitting from the floor this time.
It is jarring and non-linear—tonally familiar,
yet,
unfamiliar.



^1. smart phones.













Bridget Moreen Leslie

PARADOX OF THE NON-SPACE























My practice is sound and installation based. At the start of my work is the question, what are the politics of a waiting room? How does the architecture of these spaces effect the individual body on a cognitive and physical level. When I enter a waiting room, my first instinct is to look around and analyze the space, to search for cues as to where to sit, what paper work is necessary to fill out in order to sit, what I might do to occupy my time there, what seat is available- if any-, what social codes to follow, and any other guides as to how to occupy the space. Marc Augè termed non-places in his  book, Non-Places; an Introduction to Super Modernity (1995). In it Augè defines these places as anthropological sites of transit such as highways, waiting rooms, shopping centers, and liminal spaces void of character, where people remain anonymous because the place holds no significance. Super Modernity is a “stage of society” that refers to a response to Modernism, where form and function are inseparable. This is furthered by a technologically driven world that places high value in new forms of technology. I am interested in the relationship of Super Modernist architectural design in waiting rooms and other non-places and its affect on consciousness and behavior.  I would like to note that my work is a counter argument to Augé’s perspective. His very term locates its lacking or “non” by positioning it as a defined site, with concrete examples- a counter place, and therefore counterintuitive. I use the term Non-Space within my work. From this point on we will be considering Non-Spaces. How might these renounce Augè’s non-places and how the term non-space allows for subliminal acts of human-ness to be brought to my attention. 


Consider the possibility of a site that is non-historical, non-specific, and non-relational ; can this site exist?  Theorist Marc Augé proposed his non-place as a resolution to this. I propose an alternative. This site, the Non-Space as a paradox, rather a psychological manifestation that occurs within generic architectural sites that enacts an entirely oppositional response to Augè’s. The seemingly un-interesting  space of transience and non-thought is a space that evokes the human body, identity, and subjectivity because they are institutional spaces that those who participate in first world, urban societies must visit. They are choice-less places; the social keys to participating in the free world. As we evolve as a society, these overlooked spaces stand out more to me. I take these ideas up in my work as a way to analyze progress. The possibility that even the smallest site or gesture might have an effect on the globalized whole. Can the politics of a waiting room lead us to a utopic end, or the depicted dystopia of science fiction?


Augè’s sites are paradoxical, to find one is to be self-reflexive in the space and evaporate the non-relational aspect of it. The Non-Space asks for this. The Non-Space Network is a physical and digital archive that I have created after people familiar with the work began sending me copious amounts of images, always with the question attached, “is this a Non-Space?”. Since then, I have prompted people with the following guidelines that I created in order to classify Non-Spaces for this archive. 


This Non-Space can be seen through the following guidelines.

  •         A space of transit. Not a destination.
  •         A place of globalization, not associated to one specific culture.
  •         A Non-Space is a shifting place. 
  •         A Non-Space can only be “Non”, if the person in the place is encountering the place temporarily.
  •         A Non-Space is distinct of this era, and as things become historical, their “Non” will diminish, or it      will need to be updated/renovated.
  •         Because a Non-Space is always shifting, It might be a categorization of space or even as a metaphorical construct.
  •         They exist as a place of global consumption, rather than as a result of geographical and social condition.
  •         Non-places are easily reproducible.
  •           Non-places are a construct of Super-Modernity. They can only exist in architecturally Super-Modern spaces.
  •           Non-Spaces are spaces of anonymity.
  •           Non-Spaces are spaces of waiting.
  •           Once you are aware of a non-place it becomes a Non-Space. If you find yourself examining the architecture, the noise, your body, other bodies in Super Modern spaces, this is a Non-Space.


In order to counter Marc Augé I will first define his ideas more. Augè uses the non-place as a way of grounding super-modernity. He defines the non-place, ”if a place can be defines as relational, historical, or concerned with identity, then a space which cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place” . The non-place refers, typically, to a place where those within it are in transit. It is often places lacking historical imprints such as; shopping centers, airports, highways, hospitals, hotels, and fast food outlets. The non-place rejects any specific anthropological background that might contextualize it in a certain way. Rather within the spaces, pedestrians are typically passive in their interactions with the space, they form new relations among each other inside the site of a non-place. Relating back to Super Modernity, it is a place where one doesn't reflect inward. The spaces are defined by their signifiers, which rather than pointing outside of themselves, merely point toward each other. Way finding and other notable means of mass communication of social measures are present in the space. We obey the directions of the location, because it exits in its own ecosystem. The self in a non-place is the marker of how we differentiate a non-place from a place. The individual is lost in these spaces, in that his/her primary objective is efficiency and communication in the space. In transit, our intention is to get to point a or point b through the quickest and most reliable means. To avoid disturbances. In these porto-places the use of the space is the way in which this efficiency is manifested. These spaces are necessary to a global landscape because they act as a sort of quasi real space where people can wait for actual occurrences to happen in their life. In a hospital, it is a place where one goes to revert back to a lack of awareness— health. Micro->macro way of designating spaces within memory is a key component of the way that people engage with these sites. Through the individual, it is an inward re-collection, an estrangement to the space. Where as, the actual interaction with one another in the space is dislocated.

                                                                                         The Non-Space Network, digital archive, 2017. 

The Non-Space is the paradox of this idea. To think about the spaces critically. We will consider this alternative Non-Space for 48 minutes and 47 seconds:


Non-Spaces on Color.

I wonder why it is daylight that is intended to make us feel safe? 

Why evolution made the light a priority? 

Which type of light is best— the real or the digital? 

Digital light is something that emits from . The third brain; if one is in our head cavity, and one is supposedly in our stomach, then the third one is transitory, but often in our hand.


Fluorescent beams of horizontality mimimic my horizontality in this space— I continue moving.

Florescence is another type of light. It is blue hued, cool. It tries to replicate the digital. It tries to replicate a type of calmness that one has in the digital. Anonymity, indifference. 

We can pretend to care by a swipe or a tap. That flicker of a movement is caring. That synapse of light is caring. Like the light, it is synthetic and therefore safe. 


The room here is without color. Shades of gray and white differentiate sections of the walls. 

The ceiling is a grid; it is well above your head.

This place is shifting.

Few bursts of bright color from the signs are barely visible even in the mass of gray and light.

For some reason, I consider them without color even though I know it is acutely 

present.

I try to make my breathing less noticeable because these lacking colors are so close. 

Might my breath sounds illuminate 


my mortality?


Non-Spaces on Space

I walk inside a hallway, a room perhaps. It’s hard to tell.


What makes a hallway? What makes a room?

A hallway is a place of transit. It is the temporal state of moving from point A to point B. The nothingness between point A and point B is a hallway. A place that shifts dependent on the subject and the subject’s relationship to point A, and B. We fill the hallways of historical sites with information. Grandiose ways to open the history of the subject and the site. Hallways in settings without history only consider the efficiency that space might provide. One where someone may disinfect their hands as they move. 

Erasure.

Consider a place with no hallways; no gaps between site. Is it but a container for the subject?

A room is a space of intent. It is located. We think of it in terms of memory: past, present and future. 

With the constant push for efficiency in this site, architecture has begun to rely on globalized user experience. This is not as you would expect, through individualization to the modern evolutional appendage. 

Rather, one where spaces of intent are lost to a psychological state of apathy. A PSA, if I may. Our push for a progressive utopia has left human-ness behind  to move toward a rigid fixture. So mute, in its depiction of the real that the mind is left to wander toward the social- of the digital- counterpart.

We are given excess, but in the form of the minimal. The Super-Modern.

The minimal allows for narcissism to invade its form. A Super-Modern illness.


We are without questioning, and with that, without place. 

This site is that lacking of place. 


Non-Spaces on Bodies

This place is one marked by constant use, but not of constant tenants. To propose that the social climate of first world urban cities has brought about a PSA, forces me to consider the conditions that are symptomatic of its original causation. 


The floor in this space is slippery, but not with moisture; the slick vinyl flooring has been disinfected, so that it gleams with untouched sheen. 

This is momentary. 

I stride down the hallway, my head lowered. 

I wonder if what is said about the millennial generation losing muscle mass in the jaw is true?

My feet mark the gleaming surface of the floor. 

Though there is no trace of the previous passerby, who might have walked before me? 

Were their eyes, also, looking for the previous passerby, or were they fixated on their digital light appendage?


The reflection in the floor is also cool toned; it matches the monitors lining the hallway.

The difference between the monitors, and the ceiling, and the outside is barely noticeable.

As you move, numbers demarcating space also move— increasing. You only notice this in relation to the one you seek. It’s that PSA again.

Rows of seats fill the spaces under those numbers demarcating space. Some seats face each other and some face away. They are gray too, metal. Bodies fill their seats. Every space is filled, even that empty space.

It’s all quite organized. 

Organized excess.

I lower myself into the body of the chair. I fold into a pseudo-relaxed position. My palms slide down the leg of my trousers to stabilize my body as it bends forward. I am planted firmly in the ground through the balls of my feet. The seat fits an average body comfortably but my hip bones dig mildly into its steel frame. 

Do other people experience this? 

My eyes wander, but only momentarily, until I catch yours. I look down, uncomfortably. This was an invasion. A spatial invasion. I close my eyes and tilt my head back, feigning relaxation but I am too tall to rest my head on the back of the seat. Knowing I must look awkward, my eyes flicker open —this is caring. I glance around again and make eye contact with an other. I lower my eyes again. 

What must others think, of the spastic movements from this subject?

I remind myself that these were micro-movements.

Only large in relation to myself. Everyone is fixated on the evolutional appendage in their hand.

No one cares.

I take this moment to scout the interior of this non-hallway/ non-room. 

Though I am facing another row of seats, with bodies filling their spaces, I am also facing a wall of glass. It reflects the space back at me. It reflects the rows of seats and the disinfected, now trodden floor. I see the grid ceiling, and the rows of fluorescent light above me. I see cords and other mechanisms that power the interior. Perhaps the exterior too. There are metal ventilation systems and pipes of sorts. They blend into the ceiling and the grid well. I follow them for awhile but they eventually disappear within another sub-interiority that I cannot see. I move to the gray and white walls. There are columns, square. Signage and other forms of mapping are present, universal symbols, mostly, and directional forms. The monitors are there too. Little stands with charging stations for our unsustainable appendages are littered about the space. Other doors are markedly placed in the space. All the signifiers are for efficiency.

 I hardly notice those others  more permanently in the space, there clothing blends in but is also distinctly more noticeable than the others.  

This is not a room or a hallway to them.


Non-Spaces on Consumerism.

I think about EDM in this space. Electronic Dance Music

I think about how a Non-Space is easily reproducible and how EDM is easily reproducible. Its looped beats. Non-Spaces are looped spaces. They are circular, logically. 

You move through one and your body has moved through all of them. 

A universal language.

It’s conditioned behavior.

I think about EDM because I think about how the people that enjoy EDM move in that space. They go there to have an experience, the only way to enjoy EDM is on drugs.

Then you don't enjoy EDM, you enjoy the drugs, and you enjoy the mundane loops that allow you to be somewhere else. 


It’s like that evolutional appendage. 

EDM is a space of transit, mentally. 


I spoke with a Harvard business graduate, he is a CEO and works in financial consulting. He works with companies like Wal-Mart. He thinks that progress means that we don't have to think as much about the spaces we inhabit anymore. Progress means less thinking to him.

His subjectivity will never be questioned in an institutional space. In Non-Spaces.


He likes EDM. 


Non-Spaces on Sound.

This is taking place for 47 minutes and 48 seconds.

Sound emits above you head. It pulses through your body, your chest. 

Most of it you don't notice. 

Our bodies are polluted by vibrational noise constantly. Before we even formed our ear drums, our body was listening. 

When we were just a single cell our body was listening—feeling.  What were the vibrations of space like then?


Another sound begins emitting from the floor this time.

It is jarring and non-linear—tonally familiar, 

yet,

unfamiliar.


During its duration, the noise uses polyphony, and the EQ is raised and lowered. 

The vibrations are all lo-fi, unrecognizable. 

You haven't heard them in this way before, but some part of you knows them, in a sense, you know their construct. 

It’s as though the space itself finally gained a voice, and you were on the same frequency for the first time. 

There are beeps, electrical currents. Perhaps from the pipes which disappeared into the sub-interior space. Maybe they are finally telling me where they went. 

There is much static in the space. 

Perhaps the sounds of molecules speaking. Asking the same questions I ask. Asking about the politics of this space; asking about their identity in this space.

This sound is hygienic, It feels like the unmarked floor. 

It perpetrates secretly and we all consume it with unawareness.


My fascination with the Non-Space was brought about by numerous hours spent in medical waiting rooms and airports. My own body was the first place that I felt a denormalization to these sites. Hospitals had always been a site of recurrent visits for my family, but when I was 19 I developed an autoimmunity. Exposed to the transitional spaces described, I needed to retain my identity while my physical self underwent a radical shift. The medicalized state of my own body brought about an intense desire to comprehend, and keep myself intact in these spaces. However, this site is one in which the micro experience is not totally different from the macro. I observed the architecture as a way to analyze the effect it might have on my own psychic and biological state and how that might reflect the collective social standing of the urban class. An attempt to diagnosis this behavior, as one might diagnose disease. I have become aware how these transitional spaces condition my existence as a political subject, framing my identity. In these minimal spaces, I questioned who I was supposed to be when I entered them. In what ways might the social atmosphere of the space affect our body language and thought processes. I realized that in these Non-Spaces, institutional systems were creating this behavior; our basic human instincts were to avoid each others both bodily and cognitively. A type of psychological state of apathy to the space came about. 


With the advent of smart-phone this type of cognitive distancing was even more enhanced. One can now escape to another space, lowered eyes connected to the screen, a relieve of tension, a seeming escape of the institutional frameworks, a relief from a possible encounter with another real person--to many it was seen as progress. Upon research, I began noticing commonalities in the architecture of each site. Fluorescent tube lighting, gray or beige or white tiling (usually large squares), stainless steel walls, large windows, tandem seating, etc , etc, were almost always present in the space. Not to mention an endless supply of monitors, chargers, and electronic devices that allow numbers to connect to places outside of the Non-Space by means of digital technologies.  I was interested in how these spaces developed their own type of language of behavior. Way finding methods which designers implement in these spaces are so subtle, a reflective surface on the walls to lighten the space and keep crowds moving for example. I began looking to specific institutions that I had spent time in, and found an architecture firm that worked on all subsequent projects, which could all arguably satisfy most of my guidelines. Their projects included, healthcare, government, higher education, entertainment, etc. Their buildings followed the same architectural patterns that could describe Non-Spaces. In developed countries there is a need for a Non-Space. Like the archive, it serves to order the individuals that inhabit it. There is a need for efficiency in high trafficked areas, the generic architecture serves that. 


Non-Spaces, and their related architecture arose from Super-Modernism. To give context, Modernism was a movement from the late 19th to mid 20th century encompassing art, architecture, philosophy, etc that rejected traditional modes, putting function and rigidity first, an example of this in architecture would be Le Corbusier’s work. Post-Modernism was a rejection of Modernism— a return to historical modes, often employing troupe l’œil. In post-modernism, process and materiality were a component of the form, an example of this architecture would be Frank Gehry’s work. Super-Modernism derives from Post-Modernism and is found mostly in architecture as transparent of frequently traversed spaces that exist purely for functionality. Super modernity is in response to notions that developed around modernism. Rather than the object (space etc) having a pronounced history that is the material content of itself. The object’s content rejects all prior associations and attempts to exist without a more preconceived underpinning. Super modernity is directly founded around excess. It is characterized by three forms: philosophical, anthropological— time, space, and the individual. These characterizations are concerned with progress. The way efficiency creates a transitory space where the individual can move through these Super Modern spaces, in a contemporary way that is struck by the use of digital mediums in the space. The way that a disconnect can form even in a crowded space, where one feels a sense of solitude. Marc Augè theorizes in his work that in Non-Spaces, objects determine an intelligibility of place. In undetermined spaces these prior locating methods are not possible and a loss of selfhood takes place. The digitization of communication away from a socially tangible environment, leads to an in-distinction between real historically based moments and unimportant occurrences. In the same way that abjection dematerializes a subject by presenting a sort of familiarity of mortality. It unhinges itself from a tangible reality by placing the self in the mediated digital world. Super modern spaces are reliant on these places through their use of technology as a way-finding method through the medium of technology. In the same way that technology is set upon a closed circuit feedback of production, Super Modernity uses a reference point from only the associations deriving from within itself. Super Modernity differs from hypermodernity in that the prior is “you wish” rather than the reality of the state.

 In order to locate these sites, I had to deconstruct them. I began to look to the parts of these spaces that were not immediately visible. I have spent the past year of my practice re-iterating the Non-Space within the realm of the possible through both real and imagined encounters with site. What has been procured is a vast network of cognitive and physical relations that unearth layers of social strata- a reasoning behind the Non-Space’s continued occurrence. To inverse Augè, we have to think about the multiplicity of people who use these spaces. His perspective is singular and seemingly only looks at one type of population’s engagement with Non-Spaces. Augè never considered the worker in this site, the person who returns everyday and has both a social and physical attachment to it. This space is never a space of transit for these people.  Augè does not consider the refugee in his work. How airports are spaces of intense anxiety for them, nor does Augè consider the architect or interior designer who meticulously thinks about user interaction in these spaces, nor does Augè think about the disabled body in these spaces, how they are hyper attuned to what may or may not limit them physically. Reading the  guidelines I have proposed, it becomes apparent that these sites cannot exist, as nothing can exist, out of a sociological history.  That meaning anything “concerning the development, structure, and functioning of human society”.  In order to “place” these sites, to deconstruct them from the beginning I began to look to the parts of these spaces that were not immediately visible. Like in Josh Kline’s piece, Quality of Life, he uses bank architectural schemes for marketing that he sourced in time’s square to comment on youth obsession. He used the bank architecture to place his viewer in a familiar context that was also a mundane one. This was an earlier piece of his, later he began to look to possible futures in a political world, but still works with familiar/ unfamiliar architectural modes. His trajectory is of someone whom I align my work with. He inverse’s Augè when he uses the too familiar context as a way to draw connections within the viewer.


Sound was my first point of entry into these types of spaces, looking at John Cage and Brian Eno. It is the first sense that we develop, and directly tied to physiological experience. Vibrations from sound can reset biological tones or even cause a rethinking of space and time. Using the muted architecture of these spaces to give an amplified existence to that which is un-spatial. Using sound and common design elements as a way to condition the viewer into specific behavioral gestures. My audio pieces, such as Decay of the Non-Space Part 1, are not left as intact records but are filled with the unheard vibrations of the spaces from which they are taken, then edited and amplified. I emphasize this by using tactile transducers that emit audio from Non-Spaces into the installation floors. Working initially with field recording, I apply a developed method termed, “Rotting”, which eliminates all hi-fi or humanoid noises, so that the space itself becomes a body to physically engage with. This method derives from ideas surrounding super-modernity and efficiency within urban environments—the desire for utopia. I dislocate these into a disparate but familiar environment so that the viewer may feel the same rethinking of their identity as I do.  It also allows for a conversation to take place between the subjectivity of site and the respective human subjects.  

https://soundcloud.com/bridget-leslie-954554303/current-work-lexington



Decay of the Non-Space Part 1, 47:51.


How does the site’s identity affect the agency of the individual? My work acts as a dialogue between the two. What does a Non-Space say about class, and the social status of those within certain types of sites? What does a Non-Space say about privilege and progress in a 21st century urban space? When fully  

PARADOX OF THE NON-SPACE, installation shot. 2017.


engaged with the work, for example PARADOX OF THE NON-SPACE, one is exposed to four paths of sound. These amplify the visual pieces. My hope with this work was to make something truly experiential. EDM loops of sound interrupts each side of the headphone and is meant to direct the viewer to each of the three monitors, while ambient “rotted” field recording functions as the base in the background. While the viewer is experiencing this in their ears their body is seated in a metal airport bench that has been tampered with so that the same ambient base in the headphone is playing through tactile transducers and vibrating through the back of the chair and into their chests. I looked at David Lynch’s, Eraserhead and Tarkovsky’s, Stalker when I was creating this work. How each artist used sound to move the narrative from one physical place to another. In their respective work, spaces were brought to a physical level with the viewer through the sound score. The sound changed the perspective of something familiar to something other. I use sound and design elements found in these spaces as a way to replicate the conditioned  viewer into specific behavioral gestures. In this work, the Non-Space audio is interrupted in both the left and right headphone channel with EDM samples that function as a tether to one particular type of identity—the privileged one. Each video in this installation  shows a space with an interruption. The  

PARADOX OF THE NON-SPACE. VIDEO STILLS (2/3), 2017.


middle video shows a space, that could be  substitute for any Non-Space, real or imagined, with a body enacting the denormalization of a typical movement in that space. In my work the sound dictates the length of the videos rather than vice versa. The left video shows real space, that may satisfy the guidelines of Non-Spaces. It is interrupted by a shift in the lighting. Rather than having the standard, fluorescent, tube lighting of institutions, the viewer is presented with views of DJ lights in the space, the type of lighting one might find at an EDM show. The right video utilizes the Non-Space Network, a image archive that I began when people started sending me their documentation of Non-Spaces. The archive has been sampled, showing only micro images of the architecture, moving with the tempo of the EDM samples. Functioning as a metronome or clock. In this work what is the correlation between those who listen to EDM and their relationship to places of waiting to Non-Spaces? What is the difference between Electronic Dance Music, (looped samples of beats), and the generic site of a waiting room? I attempt to answer this in PARADOX OF THE NON-SPACE. In addition to sound this piece is an installation incorporating a 3 channel video which serves not only as art but also as architecture as the screens they are shown on form the architecture of the art space. This installation began with research about one type of subject I am invested in, this is the privileged body, the socially, economically, and financially privileged body. Perhaps it is the body of a financial tech startup CEO or Silicon Valley programmer. His relationship to a Non-Space, to technology, to visibility is distinct from that of the maintenance worker within a Non-Space. What might happen if the borders of his personal subculture and his social interactions collapsed inside this space? 


To speak generally from the research I have done, the majority of people I know who attend and enjoy EDM concerts work in Financial Tech, or Start-Up industries. I spoke with one of them about Non-Spaces and the politics of progress. He is a Harvard business graduate and a CEO working in financial consulting. He works with companies like Wal-Mart and other large corporations. He told me that he thinks that progress means that we (society) don't have to think as much about the spaces we inhabit anymore. Progress means less thinking to him. Less thinking in space is efficiency, and efficiency enables one to make more money. It was then that I knew why he liked EDM. Participation offers no threat to him. His subjectivity will never be questioned in an institutional space. In Non-Spaces.


While assessing the Non-Space from a cultural standpoint, I began to hone in on these certain types of signifiers from subcultures associated with privilege. To draw a parallel between those who question their participation both inside and outside of these mundane sites. The Non-Space is a physical place, but one where modes of awareness become catalysts to produce thoughts that are suspended of ideology. A new type of relational aesthetics, that of the social. How the site and the social feed into one another, is the foreground of my work. The paradox of an intense desire to comprehend, and keep intact, these types of interstitial spaces arose as a product from my own history, however, this site is one in which my experience is not totally different from the collective.The way in which the physical body reacts to the varying social language of sites, and what that says about our subjectivity when we engage with those sites is where i draw that line in my work.  I do this through the use of sound. What is present is often articulated by the architectural climate of a room—when that room functions as a liminal space we are left with Non-Spaces. 


These modes of behavior that  I have been researching can be related to concepts of sci-fi and its relationship to consumerist subcultures (such as EDM, and the urban rave scene). How progress and the dynamics in Non-Spaces, the psychological state of apathy, might correlate to the dystopic climate of sci-fi novels and movies, perhaps like Stalker. I am an avid science fiction reader and movie viewer. As a child I grew up playing Star Wars games wth my brother, coincidently named, Luke. Also, coincidentally, Luke now works for Google in Silicon Valley. The progress I have witnessed happening in the tech industry both in the United States and in Australia, where I am from, couldn’t help but make me think we had unknowingly slipped into one of Michel Foucault’s Heterotopias, as avoidance now seems to be the learned instinct in social situations aided by technology. A  heterotopia is described by Foucault as a parallel space. It functions as a space of both physical and mental otherness. This space may be a kin to our world but something about it is a-typical. He gives six principal parameters;

  • “Its first principle is that there is probably not a single culture in the world that fails to constitute heterotopias.”
  • “The second principle of this description of heterotopias is that a society, as its history unfolds, can make an existing heterotopia function in a very different fashion; for each heterotopia has a precise and determined function within a society and the same heterotopia can, according to the synchrony of the culture in which it occurs, have one function or another.”
  • “Third principle. The heterotopia is capable of juxtaposing in a single real place several spaces, several sites that are in themselves incompatible. “
  • “Fourth principle. Heterotopias are most often linked to slices in time—which is to say that they open onto what might be termed, for the sake of symmetry, heterochronies. The heterotopia begins to function at full capacity when men arrive at a sort of absolute break with their traditional time. “
  • “Fifth principle. Heterotopias always presuppose a system of opening and closing that both isolates them and makes them penetrable.”
  • “Sixth principle. The last trait of heterotopias is that they have a function in relation to all the space that remains.”

A quote by Walter Russell Mead describes “Utopia is a place where everything is good; dystopia is a place where everything is bad; and Heterotopia is where things are different — that is, a collection whose members have few or no intelligible connections with one another.” I found the Non-Space in Sci-fi. It was this heterotic place. However, I believe that these spaces are the locations for deep cognitive thought, for opportunities for social change. Non-Spaces are marked by constant use, but not by constant tenants. We are temporary participates in these spaces. I propose that the social climate of first world urban cities has brought about a psychological state of apathy, a sort of Post-Modern Illness toward human-ness. I had to consider the conditions that are symptomatic of its original causation more deeply within my work. The social politics of space, of institutions, of systems of governing have been my focus ever since. I am specifically looking at how generic architectural sites, or these Non-Spaces, found in first world, urban, cities effect the physical and psychological states of those who encounter them. For PARADOX  I was influenced by work such as DeathStar by Amie Segal, 2006. This video piece explores the inside of architectural sites built or appropriated by the Third Reich, set to the sound track from Star Wars. How sound can dictate the engagement of architecture. She shows us real historical spaces but relocates them by using sci-fi scores. My work aims to confront the viewer with the seemingly familiar, but one that has been suspended as such that it forces a questioning of these invisible structures with which we participate on a daily basis. In the most mundane of architectural places ones privileges and identity may appear by illuminating their behaviors in a transitory environment. 

Materially, I look at how design choices in transitory spaces influence the subjectivity of the individuals when they are within the space. I have a running list of elements that appear commonly, and I use them to condition the viewer into specific behavioral gestures. This could be as simple as using a seating device or a fluorescent light. Whether it be the natural, digital, or fluorescent light is important to the installations that I create. By dislocating this type of material into a disparate environment, it allows the viewer to enter my constructed Non-Space with a mindset of familiarity. I then turn things on their head by interjecting the space with an abundance of  the familiar, underscoring it so that it denormalizes its mundanity. At its core the relationship to sound and light can be used as catalysts for social occurrences to happen. I also film inside synthetic spaces such as models and present them in installations as projections, so that the viewer encounters what appears to be a neutral or pure site, only to find out that it doesn't exist or it is simply a facade such as, Oppositional Guided Sound Bath of a Non-Space. This play between the real site and the imagined might be the only point where the Non-Space is indeed real- but as a theory or metaphorical categorization. My work is its deconstruction, which brings about, through installation, a re-viewing of the real spaces and the gestures our body makes in those sites; learned, behavioral or symptomatic. What can those behaviors reveal about our current society? I present this deconstruction in Decay of the Non-Space; Commonalities. In this work I compiled a list, from site visits and from the architectural firm mentioned previously, of all the architectural elements found in Non-Places. I then created an installation where I places these things around the space. I added tactile transducers emitting sound into various locations in the floor so that as viewers walked around they were “located” by the sound. I also had dual projections, pulsing archival images on to the walls in the space. This piece serves the paradox of Augè’s places by physically alerting viewers either by sound or material to a type of space. By representing the components of a site they are used to in a new manner and by jarring their experience through the floor vibrations, it creates a Non-Space.


Decay of the Non-Space: Commonalities,  plastic, light, dual projection, dual sound, audience, 2017. 

























Oppositional Guided Sound Bath of a Non-Space, Installation of  sound and video shot inside a 24” model and presented by projection at wall size. 2016. 


Here is a transcript of a dialogue between the architecture of a waiting room in and undisclosed Midwestern Medical Clinic and the thoughts of an individual in that space.


Enter subject A, they open the door to the non-room. The door is a steel frame with a thick glass panel allowing both those inside and outside the site to see each other. There is no one looking except that of the person who enters the space. At this moment it is subject A. Subject A walks through the door frame, walks towards a large open desk area—white and made of some type of plastic, and begins to speak. There is no attendant at the desk, only the fabrication material of the site.


Hospital Waiting Room: I propose this site as a lacking of place. 

I would like to now welcome you to this site.   


Now, Listen to Decay of the Non-Space: Commonalities audio 1 component until desired.

When complete *PAUSE TILL STILLNESS.  *




https://soundcloud.com/bridget-leslie-954554303/decay-of-the-non-place-pt-3


Hospital Waiting Room: In these sites, this passivity is pushed by technological developments. 


Subject A: We leave behind the present space to move to a location just beyond it. We feel connected. We feel social.  As the age of the digital came to fruition, architects and designers had to keep up with the new appendage that was now a part of the bodies in public spaces. This development to a separate realm of connectivity provided a place that people could place themselves in, outside of a physical interaction.  Basic social niceties were now void in the public setting as we could now mentally relocate ourselves outside of a physical site. Upon entering this space I look around toward the type of subject that I am supposed to be. I was meant to be a number, a common way that institutions keep track of, and distance between themselves — “people” and the “numbers” inside- like myself. They're meant to keep behaviors in line with avoidance or any personal attachment. Now these social stipulations are simply moving parts of the architecture.


HWR: Enter more subjects, they are passive. Glazed eyes stare at the spaces between people and objects. You were one of them. Until you chose to speak to me, rather than to wait, aimlessly, like them.


Subject A: I am aware of everything in this space. Including you. I am not struck by them, I don’t have their ailment.

The idea of the Post-modern Illness is to consider illness from a cultural standpoint. It is “illness born about by a cultural phenomenon”. This is a direct result from a “social basis of health”. It is in some respects a marker of privilege. What we deem unhealthy in one social space, is accepted as a part of common life in other realms. With this in mind, it draws out ideas of the way health is defined. The set of

parameters that frame what it means to be feeling well. Today more people discuss illness, both mental and physical. Part of this is a direct result of a “social basis of health”. It is in some respects a marker of privilege. What we deem unhealthy in one social space, is excepted as a part of life in other areas. Nonetheless, sickness comes about from the constructed categories of health and our obsession with youth. Some people might be without disease, but have some similar existence within the context with illness. To think more deeply, there is an illness associated with our generation. The Postmodern Illness, a disassociation from the engagement of life beyond technological crutches and passive interactions. Illness built on the intensive need to archive, from fear of instability. Each era is marked with an disease that contributes to the social nature at the time. For the 80’s- AIDS, or The Plague noted by its three appearances. Today, we might argue that the disease is Cancer. The illness is another story, it stretches beyond the patient of Cancer, the illness affects even the most “healthy” members of society by way of loss, awareness, and outlook. The health or fit fetishism of current, foodies, etc exists due to a need to have some sort of control over our own health. In contemporary times, the daunting cloud of cancer, is a warning for almost every long term action. So we go raw, detox, paleo. We sleep 7-9 hours, and wear our fit bits. We avoid vegetable oil and saturated fats. We live a balanced life. Typically, we live this way with our iPhones under our pillow’s while we sleep. The gripping state of needing to feel active while engaging in a socially mediated behavior of passivity. Nonetheless, sickness comes about from the constructed categories of class. To perhaps consider the notion of the Millennial as an illness associated with our generation. To perhaps consider subculture as “illness” by the same respect. The Postmodern Illness is a disassociation  from the engagement of life beyond technological crutches and passive interactions. Illness built on the intensive need to locate oneself, from fear of instability. This desire comes from the swift progression of an ever changing social climate in urban global environments.


HWR: This is not in the sense of creating individualization, but rather one where spaces of intent are lost to this lack of “awareness”. 


Subject B: Is this because the sites are used for efficiency? They must be able to support mass amounts of foot traffic, temporary participants to the site? We abandoned the need to personalize these spaces when we moved into Modernism. There was an exponential rise in population during that time period and advancements in travel meant that bodies were able to move from one part of the world to another more easily. This caused a need for architecture to satisfy the terms of globalization, to satisfy many bodies in one space in a constant flux. These transitional spaces removed all superfluous ornamentation and we were left with spaces that were purely for functional purpose. These rooms were containers of waiting. That removal does not mean, however, that the spaces were empty. Over time they developed their own language, visually and socially. It was this language that aided in the formation of a subdued body in sight. Very rarely are waiting rooms a source of exciting social engagement. People are able to insulate themselves because they are so readily available to their own network at all times, through the smart phone and social media. A commute for some people, a pause, is just another time to spend in ones own network. Contemporary sites are removed sites, the individual doesn't want a footprint left in a contemporary space. They’re “ornamentation” exists within a pocket sized personal device. Why make the space distinct when our minds are already within their own unique instrument. To occupy the space fully would be to renounce all other individuals, so we share information digitally and remain anonymous to the outside world.


HWR: Your push for utopia has left human-ness behind to move toward a rigid fixture of the physical,

 so mute in its depiction that the mind is left to engage in the social- of the digital- counterpart. 


Subject B: We are given excess, 

but

in the form of the minimal gesture. 

We are without questioning, and with that, without place. 

As  the world becomes a more globalized place, our access to images and information followed suit. The Western ideology of youth as the pinnacle of beauty has been adopted more into the rest of the world’s culture. With that as a grounding, the need to keep and maintain the idealized body (which is unfortunately a caucasian one) has lead to a fear of illness, germs, and other a-typical bodies. As these become the standard, institutions have presented means of keeping these fears at bay. Hand sanitizer dispensers at every doorway, purified air systems and personal tracking devices that bring about a quantifiable self. In Non-Spaces, as mentioned, these sites are containers and allow for us to be filled. We can manifest these ideological beliefs in our engagement with other bodies in the same spaces we inhabit. We keep to ourselves because we are inherently self-absorbed by social media or to avoid physical proximity from others. So we escape to this othered space, and the cycle continues. We insulate and we avoid. 

“Number 300003413627,  it is now your turn.”


At the end of my work is the question, what are the politics of a waiting room? How does the architecture of these spaces effect the individual body on a cognitive and physical level. My work asks the viewer to determine if they are in a non-place or a Non-Space. Are you merely participating or are you critically engaging with your body, the bodies of others, and the site.  

To conclude let’s enter a known heterotopia.


“Listen, you’ve brought many people here. Not as many as I would like… That’s not the point. Why did they come here? What did they want?

 Happiness, I guess.  

                                                                                                            Yes, but what kind of happiness? 


…People don't like to speak about their innermost feelings. And it’s neither yours nor my business— 


In any case, you’ve been lucky.As for me, I haven't seen one happy man in my life. 

Me neither. 


—They return from the room and I lead them back, and we never see each other again. It’s not that wishes come true immediately.                                                                                                                                         

Have you ever wished to use this room yourself?  …….. 


I’m fine as I am……

Let’s imagine that I enter this room and return to our God-forsaken town a genius. A man writes because he’s tormented, because he doubts. He needs to constantly prove himself and to others and himself to be worth something. And if i know for sure that i am a genius, why write them? What the hell for?                                  


Keep your complexities to yourself.       

In any case, all this technology of yours and other bullshit are only designed in order to work less and eat more. They are all just crutches, artificial limbs. Man kind exists in order to create. Great illusions! Images of the absolute truth!        


What unselfishness are you speaking of? People die from hunger all the time?      

You’re not even capable of thinking in abstractions! 


Are you going to teach me the meaning of life?… And also how to think!”


FINANCE— NON WEALTH 


While wandering, as one does in New York you begin to notice nuances of the city — once the newness has worn off. For me, there were many curious occurrences in a place that packs this many people in it, most recently it’s been ATMs. I found that in places like TriBeCa, reliably discovering an ATM was like finding an empty cab at 5pm- extremely rare and unexpected. I noticed that in China Town, and the LES (Lower East Side) there were ATM’s on every corner—sometimes even more frequently dispersed. However, finding an ATM that worked was another thing. In Bushwick finding a working ATM was also difficult, as it was in Washington Heights, and Harlem. Around NYU, and 14th Street every ATM was thoroughly intact, their service lights blinking at me, almost gesturing to something more insightful at play. I began seeking out these faulty ATM’s— documenting them, noting what neighborhoods had the most, and where on the street they were more commonly found. Unsurprisingly ATMs that didn’t work were always located on the outside of a shop or with no clear ownership in sight. They were always in recently gentrified areas, demographically diverse neighborhoods, attached to delis, or between two establishments. 

I began to wonder about the lifespan of these machines, I speculated that the account holder had stopped paying the bill, or perhaps had moved, and left the ATM there without someone to take over the maintenance. Maybe rain or snow had short circuited and they had failed to be fixed. Perhaps they only recently broke.. but I wondered, did the owner of these ATMs know that they were out of order? If not what is the protocol for closing out one of these machines? It seemed to me that the state of the ATM was that of abandonment— tombstones of failed capital, which led me to the second part of my question. How much uncirculated money exists in the world because it sits inside of broken ATM’s? 

On July 31st, 2018, I got off the bus in China Town at 7 am after a long-haul trip. It was early, but I wanted some bananas to use in a smoothie when I got home, and nothing but bodegas had opened yet. I picked one of the more gourmet, “organic” places and piled up on things that I didn't feel like going back for later on in what would no doubt be a sleepy stupor of a day. While checking out, the card reader had a little sticker on it that said, “$10 minimum”. This is a common finding at stores in urban areas, sometimes because the owner gets charged a fee for smaller payments but more commonly to entice customers to spend more. The owner told me I was fine at $8.90, and we proceeded with the transaction. However, his cash register declined both my cards. I grew concerned that I had been hacked, but quickly found his conveniently located ATM near the store entrance. The ATM was unable to connect to it’s server, so my withdrawal couldn't dispense any money even though it appeared to be working up until the moment of connection—  a network timeout. I informed the shop keeper, who looked mildly confused, with no way to pay—I left, instead buying my bananas at a nearby Starbucks… both my cards were intact during this transaction. There was also no sticker insisting on a minimum purchase. In this instance the independent shop owner, who appeared to be of South Asian decent lost out on a sale, and now has an ATM presumably with cash but no reliable wifi to connect to the bank, and a cash register that currently does not work. I can only guess the loss of uncirculated cash in this instance is (x + $8.90). I also, can’t help but think that another small business owner lost a sale to a large conglomerate chain, due to lack of up to date services. 

How much of this uncirculated cash contributes to the economic status of the US. If the amount of uncirculated funds was collected could it have an effect on the trillions of dollars worth of debt? Definitely not, but the discrepancy between rich and poor or changing one persons life could be affected by a sum like this. I frantically begun discussing this idea of non-wealth my partner, when somehow data sharing as a means to make websites money came up (websites like Facebook are free because they take your info and sell it to advertisers). Today advertising on Instagram and Facebook is so integrated into the interface it’s barely noticeable (see AI Celebrities). I realized an obvious fact that I already knew, the circulation and exchange of currency was completely imaginary.

While traveling in the Himalayan area of Pakistan known as Hunza Valley wealth was something that kept bubbling to the surface of my thoughts. This region was one of the poorest in the world, like feudal times, land was the only real status of wealth because that is the only source of livelihood. Please, don’t imagine that all the people lived with no internet, and that a Kardashian meant nothing to them. This is not the case. To put it less than eloquently, things are simpler, the food you eat consists of whatever is in season, and during springtime, that means apricots—almost exclusively. Your options for dining are not broad and a grocery store is not a space that exists there. Your food comes from your land, as does your clothes, perhaps the corner stores will have shipments of new products but in limited quantities. I met with the chairman of Ganish, “It is the oldest and first settlement on the ancient Silk Road in the Hunza Valley, and is the site of various ancient watch towers, traditional mosques, religious centers, and a reservoir,” “Popularly known as Ganish Khun, is about one thousand years old, with a small community working towards improving it’s quality of life. With the spread of Islam, the Yarikutz, the Rupikutz, the Kuyokutz and the Mamorokutz - the then leading families of the area - constructed four mosques and watch towers dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. These unique structures, which were decaying owing to the ravages of time and lack of financial and technical resources, have been restored to some of their old glory with the assistance from Norway and Spain, through the Aga Khan Cultural Services Programme (AKCSP).” He spoke with me about Ganish, and Donald Trump, pulling up news sources on his iPhone. He spoke perfect English, as did everyone in the region, as well as their native language, and Urdu. Aga Khan University and Unesco resources have allowed the Hunza/ Balitistan region to send every student to school as a requirement. That means every person in the region is literate. Many of the people had children at schools like Berkley in the US. The Chairman told me his son wished to come back to Ganish after school and marry a woman from his village. I was somewhat shocked. It seemed strange to me that someone would ever give up living in the United States for a life in a desolate, and geographically dangerous region to share a single room with generations of family members instead of living in a place like San Francisco.

Rubble, and rock, and root

I would never define the region as impoverished

yet

in the eyes of global standards 

it falls far below

the poverty line

They have everything they need and because of that

capitalism seems like a superfluous system. 

The whole of their economy is insular,

merely shifting between patrons and goods. 

The act of exchanging these paper notes is only symbolic 

They know that fundamentally,

 it doesn't really matter.

Wandering around the middle Hunza one afternoon, I found a USSR trekking map. I went to purchase it but didn't have enough money, so the storekeeper said to take it and pay for it another time.

I ran back 30 minutes later with the money and he seemed taken aback by my promptness. I asked my partner why he thought this man would let me walk out without paying in the first place? I could've very easily never paid him back or just left. He responded that it was about trust in his community and that money is not seen as an immediate, quantifiable defining characteristic of the people here. I’m the only 6ft tall, blonde, women for hundreds of miles, so it wouldn't be hard to track down anyway…

Capital can be used as an imaginary tool, and we seem so sure that the world would fall to anarchy and chaos without it. Historically we’ve stopped to think that capital serves politics as a means of oppression, look at Marx. The faulty ATMs force owners to enforce cash only policies or deplete their own accounts through service and maintenance fees, or simply they lose customers to mammoth institutions like Starbucks. Inflation serves what purpose? The imaginary trillions of debt that the US accrues will never be paid off, so what is the economy? What is currency and what flaw in the system does hundreds of stocked, faulty ATM’s reveal?

AIRPORTS/ THE DEVELOPING WORLD

Though the spaces of airports appear to fit Augè’s non-places, to disregard the mentality of those within the spaces is to only consider the privileged body moving through them. I can say that I find airports horribly emotional and personal spaces that happen to take place in the public eye. It is safe to say that airports have their own language and code of conduct. Like going to sleep-away camp, we all feel a small bit of comradeship with our fellow travelers- we empathizes with the sleepy eyed mother, or the business man trying to catch the red-eye to work. The flight attendants, security guards, Starbucks employees, maintenance people, and pilots are all our camp counselors. We all understand how the airport is supposed to work, but it doesn’t. In this day and age, the airport is one of the most politically stressful environments. Everyone is suspect, and ‘subject to search’. We know that our brown, or black, or bearded friends will get stopped in the US. Ironically, I get stopped almost every single time, yet I do not fit the trend. Once after getting stopped for my 3rd “random search” at London-Heathrow Airport, I angrily asked the security guard why I always seem to get chosen, she informed me that I was tall and blonde. In other words I stood out, but not by the same standards as our friends. Meaning to say that in airports, judging based on sex, race, and class— in my case hair color and height— is socially acceptable, if not encouraged. In no other area of the country is prejudice enforced by the law. Hiring laws prohibit this, not to say that they do not happen, but the hope is to avoid being overt about it. This reversal is shocking, and denounces one major group of people, whom tend to be the most violent and unstable from further inspection— but we know that, we’ve seen it happen during every massacre deemed newsworthy. Air hostesses play the role of guardians of a sort. It’s the service industry, but for the duration of our plane ride we infantilize ourselves to the subjectivity of these parent figures who feed and nurture us. Like adult babies we revert to a-typical social norms. In the airport sleeping on the floor is utterly acceptable as is consuming fast food in a business suit or alcoholism at 9am— because it’s 5pm somewhere. This year the TSA proposed cutting screening time at small and midsize airports, having screening happen instead when passengers arrive at larger connecting airpots. It occurred to me that this proposal would not only cut jobs for security guards but increase the risk of violence occurring in smaller airports and planes. Beyond that it once again, others people from smaller cities, forcing them to extend their layovers which could mean more expensive tickets or to point— publicly— at the origin of flyers. Airports function on anonymity but in recent years, more and more government protocols require people to self identify, over and over again. I wonder how beneficial this is on a sociological level? To consistently consider one’s identity in a comparative sense, furthermore, to partition different types of people at every stage of daily life. Like data mining or genetic sites like 23 and Me, how much public information is too much?

At Newark International Airport, United has fully updated Terminal C. The result is a sophisticatedly fit, nightmare of anonymity and convenience. Every restaurant, cafe, news stand, and chair (at the gate and throughout) has it’s own iPad that you can order food to, or gamble, everything is self-checkout, and cashless, and the lighting brings to mind hotel lobbies. It is seemingly warm and inviting. Perpetually in a state of business elegance— but masterfully uncanny. service desks are now the equivalent to cardboard celebrity cutouts, but made from glass screens instead of paper. A projection explains the way things works and hopes you have a good flight. Any sort of human interaction is by deliberate choice or to withdraw something from one who has been reduced to the equivalent of a  human serving tray. As super modernism expands, so does our own person scrim of anonymity.

The airplane, particularly on international flights produces something incredibly unique. Behind the index of the airplane’s function, we dine, sleep on, laugh, cry, argue, and chat with total strangers for a set period of time to then (often) never see them again. On another hand, I’ve gone full 16 hour flights without saying a word to the person next to me. Yet, we slept, ate, cried, etc next to each other. That intimacy with anonymity is something utterly unique to travel. I feel confident during airport travel, I’ve done it so many times— I know how the routine goes, and yet there’s still this overwhelming amount of dread that takes place before stepping through a metal detector or peeling your clothes off. I travelled to Pakistan for the first time in 2018. It was my first time experiencing what I’m sure a great deal of people experience everyday, starring, confusion, occasionally being denied access based on my appearance. But what happened 99% of the time was extreme hospitality, starring of course, but also a complete challenge to my original definition of Non-Spaces. While developing this paper, my educational background only encouraged specificity to our own narratives. So I limited my definition to “1st world urban environments”, my partner is from Pakistan and the reason that I went there in the first place, I flew through Istanbul to see Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Hunza, and back again to Karachi before returning to NYC. In Karachi the Non-Space was everywhere. However it was not the stark, grey environments flooded with blue monitors. Though everyone had iPhones, and amazing 4G internet. Non-Spaces were markets full of kodak film, and tassels, inflatable pools, exotic 9(o me) animals; they were colorful, and dusty, and more densely populated than anything I could've imagined. I realized the grand flaw in my original perspective was that I was limiting the Non-Space to a type of class and race. The Non-Space could exist in a village in Hunza. Sitting in one of the oldest settlements in the area, speaking with an elder chairman about Donald Trump, and he pulls out his iPhone to tell you about his brother who is a cab driver in NYC. I think about the cabs I’ve taken in NYC and try to remember the drivers faces and names— I can’t. Non-Spaces are the beach side McDonald’s with a nuclear reactor in the distance. Non-Spaces are empty highways that look like 405 in LA— but in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. Non-Spaces are audio recordings in the Kehwara salt mines, where lamps are sold for the equivalent of $1 U.S dollar. I’ve seen the same ones at an Urban Outfitters in San Francisco for $30. Non-Spaces are stepping out of the car at the Pakistan-China border to see the world’s highest ATM and wondering if it works…Non-Spaces are talking about chaat in a Virginia bust stop with a stranger at 4 in the morning and remembering all of these things, but more importantly Non-Spaces are those moments when you’ve gone hours on public transportation, alone, without speaking, and you find comradeship with a fellow traveller. Our language and codes for public spaces are always defined by hierarchical powers, we get caught up in set modes. Those are the places Augè was describing— socially limited places. Non-Spaces are the ever adapting, paradoxical moment of feeling, and comprehending class, race, super modernism, control, all at once.

To come:

fast food// health, hygiene and efficiency

MCREFUGEES

There is an intimacy that happens when a meal is shared. I’ve always found restaurants, as a strange concept. Communal dining becomes segregated to tables, so that one can enjoy the atmosphere of a shared meal but not with the requirement to meet someone new. Fast food restaurants and drive-ins exaggerate this segregation. 


Commonwealth countries

stocks/ bitcoin

AI celebrities

poor images

Althusser/ Ideological state apparatuses , Repressive state apparatus

THE UNCANNY

When we think about the human body, often we think of it’s physical attributes. The curves of our limbs, the shifting textures of each corporeal surface; hardly, do we initiate these thoughts with more cognitive representations of the figure, such as memories, moods or states of being. Though the embodiment of a person stems from internal origins, we attempt to make sense of these abstractions by virtue of palpable labeling. In The Uncanny by Sigmund Freud a parallel process of thought is made. His uncanny is described by the many statements of what it is not.  This definition indicates its surfacing as something unfamiliar or perhaps too familiar. To that point, it lies just outside the grasp of a tangible or communicable expedient. As humans, we also strive for the generation of a systematic formula with which elucidating moments like Freud’s uncanny result in something of a logical schema. This notion may be counterproductive—defining the un-defineable— and yet it is our innate need to find a way to diagnose and formerly index foreign occurrences. To remove their alienating qualities is to, therefore, eliminate the threat of that which proposes a shift in our reality. With this in mind, I would like to propose for the purpose of my own compulsion,  the +/- 1 method as a response to this desire. I enucleate this interpretation as suggesting that any object, thought, moment etc, plus or minus one familial attribute propels it into the domain of something Unheimleich. From this, I will thus pose the question as to wether or not the uncanny is something that can be created artificially  or if it only exists in the natural? To take it one step further, does it only exist in the internal? The non-Place is uncanny because it is non, or un, or without. It is both a familiar, standardized space but unfamiliar in it’s sterilization. The Non-Space is familiar to us. Like the anecdote about meeting a woman from Pakistan at a bus stop/ gas station in Delaware and bonding over our favorite foods. An unfamiliar, space becomes warm— humane- heimlech.

The uncanny is associated with a particular feeling, in addressing this feeling through three dimensional means are we extracting it down to a shape that is no longer of the same quality?—Does it become a metaphor of itself instead of uncanny of its own accord? I will compare two circumstances, one evoked from various material artworks and another from a cerebral stimulus, so that this discord may be further explored.

To begin, I will start by analyzing the very nature of objects. As three dimensional forms, they function by carrying social, historical, and visual weight. As Althusser remarks, ISA’s have imbedded associations within our consciouses that dictate our behaviors to the point that all our actions, thoughts, etc, are in fact a product of a hierarchical system rather than from our own pure understanding. Our perceptions of tactile materials are discerned from an implemented political apparatus that has quite carefully determined the way that we even begin to access any given matter. The autonomous agency over a feeling has actually been pre-determined, before we even come to encounter said situation by prior generations. Certain objects, such as weapons, textiles, and colors, as a few examples, can generate bodily evocations. In excavating these antiphons, my conclusion is that these responses all result from a nostalgic territory. Corollary from a human place. The most abject objects are displaced from a primal humanoid origin. In that state, they generate physiological responses (goosebumps, deja vu, sweat, etc).These uncontrollable replies are reminders of the physical body, the fragility of mortality within our current vessel- a reminder that this body is ephemeral. The uncanny, in many respects, tests the framework of corporeal humanism. However, these abject objects, commonly used such as weapons are connected to death, a nod to our mortality. Textiles are often associated with a specific era or memory, from grandmothers flower pattern to the lace of the 1800’s, it is a physical archive of the act making—the act of living. Colors such as Yves Klein’s blue or Rothko’s red are grounds to a plethora of socio-historical modernist bases. Most recently, Walid Raad’s Walkthrough, performed at the M0MA,, touches on these points and underpins the belief that these objects are indeed fleeting, as any such material is, but the perceptions surrounding them are what shape the basis for longterm human recollection. Furthermore that these objects are containers, like our own body, but have the potential to out last us.This can be horrifying to the suddenly aware viewer, and thus art is created to exercise some sort of dominance over the self. The objects become representative of human life, like in archeology, a way to remain “alive”, post mortem. Where as our own bodies, will all but dissolve and the only remnants of our existence is within the renditions of these predigested things. 

As stated, objects (art objects) are built, foremost, in the mind. The pre-foundation, before the plus or minus one of art making. The bulk of their existence remains in that place, the place of memory or recollection, sans those in possession of the object. This brings me to a notion that I have been battling in my own practice; does the object have a life of its own? To relate to our thesis regarding the uncanny, do these objects actually present any quantitive, definitive, value or are they subjective to those encountering them? Do they have self agency once they are made- once they enter the plane of existence beyond the cognitive ownership of one individual?

  I often hear the statement during an art school critique that the material “needs to speak”, because it differs from the intention of the maker. What could this possibly mean, if the maker is the one deciding how an object is brought to fruition?  My only answer is that objects operate like individuals, they are born by their mothers but the ownership is revoked once they enter a material reality. These individuals (objects) are open to the effects of society— of others when they leave the place of abstraction within a sole author. Even when the objects themselves are abstract. By presenting these in a space of physicality we are organizing what we experience and what transcends to a collective cognizance. In the hope that further along, more importance will build- they will become icons— relevant. It is these experiences that we catalogue and store for future perceptive aid, schematized by the ISA’s and brought forth when future relationships are made. So that our choices are kept in line with the beliefs of society, the normal.

  As a maker, could one possibly remove themselves from their own self to create something autonomous; in that act is that disassociation a repression of the id, which as Freud states cause the uncanny to occur? As another acting “solution” could it be to focus on the formal qualities of the object. However, like Yves Klein’s Blue, those likewise stem from preconceived points.Informed points at that. It is simply impossible to remove our own history of the X years that we have existed away from the way we address the world around us. More-so from how we have been educated to take the world around us. All of these networks are built upon an extraneous reflection of dying. This then is the key to informing the uncanny. A corpse, (grandmas floral, anything) is not disturbing because of the loss of that individual, but disturbing because it points to our own death and we have been taught to believe that death is frightening because it is unknown? It is therefore all too familiar, but unexperienced by the individual.

As initially announced, the uncanny behaves within the framework of an undetermined bodily experience.Perhaps triggered by an object, On these terms, many artist’s, including myself, are drawn to these particular abject articles as a way to provoke said uncanny response.  Moreover, as a a way to exhibit control over now self-sufficient entities. There is a stream of materials that repeat themselves, one we place we can examine this took place in 2004. Where Mike Kelley curated an exhibition at the Tate Liverpool entitled, The Uncanny. This Was Kelley’s first solo show of such magnitude. His curation display these items around “exploring memory, recollection, horror and anxiety through the juxtaposition of a highly personal collection of objects with realist figurative sculpture… that embody the feeling of the uncanny through their scale and use of colour, form, and material. Kelley relates these to the idea of the ‘double’ – the disturbingly realistic representation of the human figure suspended between life and death.” Even in this statement, the aforementioned  “embodiment” of the uncanny alludes that the uncanny is not something that can be embodied without assistance. Even then it is merely acting as a stand in for something absent. In reverse, this is then a symbol for something more elusive? I am immediately drawn to conjecture that the uncanny begins its life at a place close to the sublime. It could be seen as a ‘negative sublime’ a place where order is replaced with worth toward thoughts or feelings. Freud believed the uncanny serves as an illusion of control, developing a system to ironically underscore that which has no system. The reduction of the uncanny to something figurative ignores the very complex action of the “canny turing into the uncanny”. Something that cannot be captured in a single static object. It is also worth mentioning that the initial definition by Kelley of the uncanny is of formless elements “memory, anxiety, horror, recollection.” What is this if not an admittance of attempt rather than defining? The attempt to exhibit control is merely an illusion of control so that we can hold on to the small hope that we have any viable power over our own mortality. The uncanny feeds, functions on fear, but more so of possibility.

  Many theorist’s such as Elizabeth Wright fall akin to the perspective of the uncanny as a loss of control in art. As exhibited in her book, Psychoanalytic Criticism/ Theory in Practice, she talks about the revisionary ratio, where the reader, or viewer, in art becomes the true author of the work. Literal meaning, in her respect, is death and death is “the final castration of the primary process…the uncanniness thing of all (which) can only return in fiction” (Wright, 149). That fiction is determined by the new author of the work. There is a tension between the two, at least in terms of art critique, where the imposition of outside perspective changes the intentionality of the subjects own desires to that of the masses. There is a string of expectations then placed upon those who try to depict something that is intrinsic to the individual. Therefore commonplace, strange, matter becomes an index to the physical uncanny.

Objects that are often associated with these artistic parameters, exemplified firsthand, in Kelley’s show are; “…Automata, mechanical dolls…-powerful metaphors for this inability to adjust one’s objectifications or else for the rigidity of the existing order. The uncanny is the illusory aspect of all objects brought home to us: we cannot rely upon them as leading to the satisfaction of desire” (Wright 149-159). Like the totem of uncanny art they are stand-ins for the real so that we may feel some sort of resolve in the fact that we will never be able to lock such sweeping thoughts into one context.

I notice that my own work and the work in Mike Kelley’s show, such as Nayland Blake’s Magic Jake and Dinos Chapman Ubermensch and many more pieces, utilize the doll or “statue” motif as a way to express this lack of control. Dolls are subject to the the puppeteer, as are hospital patients, babies, the elderly, etc. All require the animation of outside forces. The competency of their superiors to enable them and thus keep them alive. They call to be objectified. In substantiating basic human emotions are we thus propelling the intrinsic uncanny into a place of broader understanding; in that action ,does it fundamentally remove its uncanniness. The Tate Museum verbalizes this directly writing that, “Freud cites Ernst Jentsch, who located the uncanny in ‘doubts’ about ‘whether an apparently animate being is really alive; or conversely, whether a lifeless object might not in fact be animate’.” Something to be captured, therefore non imposing, safe— Un-uncanny. (Tate)

Since the uncanny is both the known and unknown—the space between knowns. Feasibly, this may be art’s only defense, as an “outcome of repression” to the undefinable the counterpart to the feeling (Wright, 153). Then we can see how Kelley’s take on the double is tangential of my own time based version. Where the Unheimleich is the duality of familiar and unfamiliar. Existing in a place between places, it is both here and there, present and lost. Kelley’s resulting show produced a series of works highly rooted in these conservative principals. With a focus on materiality,  slightly mutated figures propose the other body, extraneous from our own but still relatable. It is important in contemporary art that these pieces are about oneself but not so much so that art critics lose their own sense of self within them- so to pose the question why should I care about YOUR narrative? This careful balance of making something personal but staying politically correct as to include as much of an audience as possible so that it can be considered art is a notion that continually arises. Especially within the presence of “other” art. Correspondingly, to compare Sarah Lucas’ featured piece, Pauline Bunny, 1997, and one of my own, (figure 1, 2 respectively) both pieces function around the suitability of tights as an appropriation of the figure.The mass of excess, disembodied, yet, pictorially accessible human iterations seen in my work both affirm and displace the viewer like that of Lucas’. When given cold reading’s on my piece, affirmations of something both understood as a familiar object (tights) but removed by their ostensibly personified state conjure abject thoughts. In both pieces we see ourselves, or versions of ourselves, although at odds to the actuality of a lived body. In seeing artwork, particularly artwork that is fixedly stressing the encounter of an immaterial state of being I, personally, find myself unable to have an authentic uncanny happening. Not to say that the piece does not function to adjure these thoughts but that the thoughts are not my own, they derive from the artificial and in that respect are once at odds with a concrete emotive response. Many artist’s of this subject matter are working with tights as a mimicry of flesh, a replication that is close enough to the real and therefore creates an uneasiness by means of color, and shape echoing the human form.However, even though I, too, work with ties to the uncanny; I have to ask myself each time I make a design for my work wether I am aestheticizing the piece; In doing so it loses peculiarity because it becomes ornamentation. If the uncanny is a fence then falling to one side dissolves its existence, be that through aesthetization, fundamental to art. In a fabricated practice, everything is an addition to the natural— another human’s creation, and the formulation of an artificial uncanny work.

Kelley’s use of each piece was intriguing, but expected. Having homogenous color palates resonate of our own flesh, but in extending this to the whole space, the body becomes larger than normal. The obvious use of an aesthetic take on +1. This kind of element focusing illustrates the adverse way we view our own bodies. By using tones that are both somber and decayed, they are lateral to dreams or alternate realities. Continuing Elizabeth Wright’s beliefs that the uncanny is the sublime or the negative sublime. Then like a dream it is unable to be grasped and held in memory for more than a fleeting moment before lost to the subconscious. Only to arise when reminded of this uncanny. The show at the Tate clearly induced this condition. However, I am haste to say that the addition of the +1 in art is problematic. The physical representation of an object allegorical to a feeling is already a +1, in its natural form and the pastiching of multiple layers upon it crafts something beyond the uncanny. Not to say that this is wrong but that it should be considered as its own system rather than under the umbrella of uncanny.

A metaphor for the artificial would be to consider the personal experience of living with illness (the unknown) was the source of discord, it created a tension and hyperawareness of the corporeal but in diagnosis those fears were dissipated. The labeling establishes a connection to reality, which then makes us feel “human” again. It removes the other. It is the same as diagnosing an illness. The unknown disease is the place in which darkness manifests. This is a result of repetition phenomena rousing the undertaking of WebMD binges etc, until we are satisfied with the causation of our affection. Upon discovery the fear dissipates. We have established in this essay that uncanny is nothing if not a fear of ourselves, or the possibility of becoming other. Humans want a certain relatability to the collective. A standardization to fit in—to exist— within the comforts of explicit social contexts. There are pressures of normalcy, crafted from history, to appear canny. In the placement of something extra or missing we are a leper, but once we can explain the causation, we are then let back in the assembly. 

For physical object’s to be uncanny is, in my perspective, impossible, because the uncanny is something undefinable and in having a tangible portrayal we are negating its very being. Like the sublime, the uncanny is abstract, transcendent and divine. To give it solidity is to illicit one definition to something inseperately multifaceted. To approach the uncanny from a closer territory, we can consider the act of memory. Though this reply may be stimulated as a thread from a physical reminder in the case of an article or something someone has said, it is a striking moment of sensibility. I will examine memory as a palpable materialization, like that of sculpture. We can start to see where the core components of the uncanny begin, as we look to the root of what commands the act of memory. When one wakes from a dream or sees something particularly redolent, we are left with a period where we cannot escape the grips of our own mind. This reflective period is a bit of an amalgamation of composite cognition. The mind searches impulsively for some type of clarifying illumination to ‘’diagnose” this discomforting feeling.To pinpoint the source of unneasiness. The spiritual steps in to comfort these feelings. Dream interpretation books, horoscopes, prayer. They are immaterial coping mechanisms. A way to feel that there is something being done. In the same way that in more urgent fight or flight moments most people cannot sit still. Pacing, speaking excessively are more “uncanny” embodiments of the human quality that the production of an object that does not do the emotion just. I must suggest that the process of “coping” is a way of defining the uncanny. That something lymphatic is the only means to lock this concept into a structure.

One way I processed the uncanny or mortality, was through the creation of a work, stimulated by the Freud, where I thought of my most sound memory. It was a period of time, rather than one specific instant where my family was dealing with the misfortunate health of my father.  From this memory, I began making a list of everything I could think of that could be considered uncanny (figure 3). As I wrote this list, certain phrases that I jotted down caused bodily responses; goosebumps, nausea, long forgotten scents and tastes. This response can be solidified by Samuel Weber when he spoke at the European Graduate School in Switzerland about philosophical concepts such as the uncanny. There he mused that reality and fiction were ambiguous to one another. The engagement of life’s moments are taken subjectively and immediately become part of the past. In this sense we are both living and un-lived, and post-lived simultaneously. This then propels the doubling of consciousness and its relation to the internal and external experience. What surfaces in memory is the “ego’s attempt to systematize the external in response to it’s narcissistic desires.” (Weber). The self begins to justify it’s reason of being through what it is not, countering Freud’s anti-definition of the uncanny. In doing this two paths fork and the Id is disassociated from itself, subsisting in twain reality and fiction. It is this point that I would suggest that the uncanny is truly captured. Again by process.

In closing, I would like to pose yet another question, which has arisen from these complex ideas. Do human beings contain two psyches- one which exists in the present and one which resides in the possible resides? Does our present state lay balanced upon a fence between the two. Of memory and possibility. By reliving memories, we are opening the second psyche— the possible psyche and with that adding an uncanniness to actuality, but memories are subjective by nature and thus exist in a state of constant fiction. The lived experience holds a pseudo mirror to our current state but distorts. Perhaps in the reimagining of ourselves as separate from our present self we are hence other-ing ourselves, through ,and with ourselves. This double psyche splits reality. If reality even able to be conceived. In a sense, this is not dissimilar to the mirror-stage but like the act of deja-vu, something that happens more frequently and at no specific point in time. This happening is cyclical, starting as a physical experience that is stored in the mind, then triggered by something whether tangible or not, but it is that involuntary, sneeze- like, sputter of ephemeral uncomfortableness that is the uncanny, it then folds in on itself once again to produce a physiological response.

A conceptual understanding which we (the individual) cannot place within itself therefore lives in between the present and the possible— catalyzed by the stimuli of psychical re-representations of something once physical. Art merely repurposes these moments rather than creating them, it is something else entirely. The digestion of the uncanny removes the uncanny qualities- explanations ruin emotions. On that accord uncanniness is temporal. Perhaps a mere break between the subconscious and conscious. The uncanny allows us to peer into the unrealized mind, until an awareness removes this frightening experience and reconnects us to the real

Can it merely crack the surface open to the other side— disconcerting our foundations of regularity. Is the fence in actuality not a place with which to perch upon, but rather like the ocean tides, ebbing and flowing in rhythm, however varied that tempo may be? Sublime by its own merit. The consciousness bestows these feelings upon us, in no humanly conceivable system but try as we may to understand the natural world. Art attempt ands its romance is found in these attempts to illustrate the unattainable parts of life. Our memories and mind are the way to float within these spaces.







      Figure 1                                                                             Figure 2


Figure 3



Eczema

Menu’s

Overstuffed purses

4 Australian passports

Underwear hung on the edge of a laundry basket

Unfolded clothes

Urine

Filth

Dirty salmon tiles

Frozen food

Coffee

Everything on wheels

Crumbled Magazines

Waiting rooms

Upholstered couches

Subtitles

Snow

I-40

Lake Hefner

Oxygen Tanks

Hospices

Orange

Yellow

White

Blue

Teddy Bears

Magnets

Train sounds

Scrubs and slippers

Stubbed toes

Bruises

Stepping through revolving doors

Temperature Changes

Laptop Movies

Ipad games

Distractions

Puddles

Pewter bracelets

lucky charms

Forgotten

Found

Rolex

Black Ice

Rabbits in the cold

7am/7pm

Tuition

The Unknown

411

54 Hours

Sanitizers

Smiley face balloons

Peering into other rooms

Pete Lamb

Weight

Silence

Watching monitors

Will power

Chaos

Codes

That feeling of a strand of hair on skin that you cant find

When someone lifts the hair from the back of your neck

Goosebumps

Styrofoam

Waiting for sleep

Fearing the morning

Cell phone vibrations

Blood Pressure

Tightness

Vinyl

Synthetics

PINK

That hospital smell

Shower stalls

Toilets

Warmed blankets

Who slept in these?

Dishes

90’s radio in the distance

Beeping, Beeping

No silence

Plastic insides

Esophagus

Medications

Cafeteria Cake at 3am

The happiness of the metal tray

Cups of pills

Foreign

Nutrition shakes 

Flipping for bed sores

Adjustments

Church

Chapels

Last rites

Chevrolet Tahoe

Cat Shit

Cat Litter

Locked doors

Takeout

Spilled Chinese Food

Cash

Bills

Expense

Excess

Anxiety

Destruction

Lone christmas decorating

Squeezing water bottles 

Laminate rugs

Constant Night

Driving

Tiredness

Fluorescent lighting

Has all our love been consumed from this time? 

Are we so drained that we no longer have the mental space to love?

December 2008




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