Thinking Along The Edges

thinking-along-the-edges

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Disobeys Restriction

I imagine the city connects infinite layers of networks to defy.

Shaping the superficial modern metropolis by placing social fabric onto stitched architectural frames.

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“I operate as a man-machine interface.”[1]

The cyborg self within me emerges along the cities edges,

I hack the surface of space configurations.

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I am the seeking stranger of urban life who needs to disobey restriction;

feeling disconnected in a rebellious reunion of public and private outlines.

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I wander off the ordered path and find a more uncertain line of direction.

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copyright © Olsen 2016

[1] “I operate as a man-machine interface – that is, as a technological form of natural life – because I must necessarily navigate through technological forms of social life. As technological nature, I must navigate through technological culture. And technological culture is constitutively culture at a distance. Forms of life become forms of life at-a-distance. Because my forms of social life are so normally and chronically at-a-distance, I cannot navigate these distances, I cannot achieve sociality apart from my machine interface” Lash, S (2002). Critique of Information. London: Sage Publications. P15.

The street is a useful thing for walking.

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Surface 2016

copyright © Olsen 2016

Through the body and mind, a place can be recognised.[1] Yet I noticed how distant the street is depending on my focus, using Mains Road, Dundee as an example of place. I would like us to consider a quote from my favorite philosopher, Heidegger and the image above:-

“the street, the useful thing for walking. When we walk, we feel it with every step and it seems to be what is nearest and most real about what is generally at hand, it slides itself, so to speak, along certain parts of our body – the soles of ones feet. And yet it is further remote than the acquaintance one meets while walking at the remoteness twenty steps away “ on the street”.”[2]

Heidegger would identified the street as ‘equipment’, a thing that is encountered in our environment, the place I use when I walk. I understand how its usefulness becomes remote and unnoticeable to myself as I walk, by thinking about my journey on Mains Road. The phycical street shifts between earth and world depending on my awareness of it. I am more likely to notice a passing car or pedestrian than the street I walk on, it only becomes available in my awareness by a disruptive influence of the uneven surface seen above.

[1] Casey, E. S. (2013) The Fate of Place: A Philosophical History. United States: University of California Press p244.

[2] Heidegger, M (1996). Being in Time (Trans Stambaugh, J). 3rd ed. New York: New York Press. P99.