been meaning to sit down to write something for days. ramblingness = set to max
== I'm not sure where I am exactly, where I sit, how I am changing. all I do know is that I am forming great circles, these arcing formations, slow change. good to know. good to know. the arc, like zeno's paradox of the arrow, or what engels talks about in anti-duhring, means that one is always pulling a little bit to the left, always a little bit in the process of self-displacement, and thus always a little bit in friction with one's being. jumping out of one's skin. not-being-here = moving towards there, pulling on the rudder, leaning into the curve, forming these large trajectories of movement in the the direction of acceleration actually points into an invisible center that is never really sought after, just used, almost metaphorical, in the process of loops, turns, curves, alterations.
I am here. I am juggling. I am doing this, and that, and it boggles me a little bit, the breadth and distance of everything that I am doing, sometimes. these numbers boggle me sometimes, 25k here and gone in a moment, and so does this process of instruction, pedagogy, teaching, of pushing desire and criticality and wishing everyone could walk with you, kind of like the moment at which you call out, "hey! let's all go do this!", but on a larger level, both a communal gesture of participation and co-involvement, and at the same time stemming from a self-inquisitive desire to have-things-happen.
== student/teacher = being on two sides of a stud wall. walking through an not-yet-drywalled stud wall is to play these spatial games with one's being; at once one recognizes the bare material nature of a wall construction just barely more than the weight of one's being; on the other hand one sees solidity and immovable wall-ness, walls in that they never change, are never changed, will never change, until they do change, in which those new walls then will never change. it's as if walls operate in the domain of unconscious memory, or history -- implements that will never change. have always been there.
(I wonder - are walls still fluid for contractors, builders? If you spend your entire life building stud walls and putting up drywall, do you understand all walls to be infinitely malleable? And to that I can't help but think, no, still no, the power of the black box, of the convenient concept, of perception is too strong. Is every piece of software like magic to me? Perhaps. Does understanding the denotative data and the mechanics behind an operation in any way negate my sensation of awe? Can't I both understand a magic trick and be entirely taken by if? Of course, of course, of course. Will walls and space always be so transformative? Perhaps.)
I think - wow! I am here. To some extent. I am wanting to be going there. I am reading latour, which is like drinking a glass of ice water. I am dealing with these sums. I am trying to teach, and teaching. I am drawing out and circling these great arcs.
to some extent here is a deferral - I am also making work, trying to figure out what is possible, what is doable. How do you have a black hole and a star operate around each other? the tripartite forces of budget, "functionality", and desire, or perhaps budget and desire mediated through "functionality", this black hole trap of a word that threatens to 1) gather all interesting-ness and swallow it and regurgitate nothing but convention; 2) to claim neutrality through the fulfillment of necessary "functions" supposedly outside the domain of design in the first place, and 3) to be a legitimate and understandable concern that deals with the nosy and always interrupting, always inquisitive powers of space to change everything, maybe even everything, and thus also weighed under the 'responsibility' of proper alterations.
functionality, functionality, functionality. to what extent do you push out and make sculptures because you do not give a shit?
or. to notate all the things I do want to do:
not making sculptures because you do not give a shit, or: making sculptures because you give a damn
not forming the default functions because you are scared of change, or: forming more than the default because power brings optimism
compromising on design behind the scapegoat of "functionality" because you are scared of power, or: moving beyond scapegoats because power can only be used deliberately, not meekly
to the future me who will have been past this. wasn't it funny? wasn't it strange to be dealing with those numbers, and feel an immense amount of responsibility for the first time ever? these numbers; they are what they are, and in this practice, when you deal with buildings that are like clothing, except they last for decades or generation; like clothing, except they fit hundreds of people; like clothing, except they have pockets and sleeves and wastebaskets and fresh air enough for hundreds of people; like clothing, except it has to protect you from the elements; is it any surprise that something costs orders of magnitude larger? that an application of paint on a beam costs ____? you are dealing with broad strokes. broad strokes.
in the end. I think I said this somewhere:
the last thing I've been thinking about lately.
nothing is an object. nothing is a thing. there are no things, no commodities, no products, no ideas. there are no tables, just a loose assemblage of materials upon which we exercise our pattern recognition abilities, machine learning, and classify these objects into different 'chunks'. do you understand? there is no "car", no "plane", no "apartment", no "meal", no "brunch place", no "vase", no "teacup", no "plate", no "knife", no "hammer", only a loose assemblage of materials that we have noted are these things. the neural nets in our brains, having trained on a training set of data for the past few generations, is now in full testing mode. these concepts are black boxes, like convenient entanglements/summaries of the world. and the more we buy things, the more marx's commodity fetish (with intellectual labor, becomes the conceptual fetish, and with political labor, becomes the reputational fetish) takes hold.
no things are done in a certain way, there are just traditions, history, and certain trajectories that fall into more smoothly. the ruts in the ground that delineate frequency and history are not deep grooves with metal channels; they are large sloping indentations, really, and the ground is constantly eroding. there are no roads, just desire paths. there are no dictionaries, just words, evolved in usage. there is no "way" to reroof a roof; there is history, tradition, and the eye and hand of the contractor bending over to operate and do work, over the years
does that make sense? everything is made. everything is constructed out of labor. nothing comes to us as pre-formed concepts until it has passed through the fat-trimming optimization process of the market, which takes concepts + objects as inputs and continues the cycle over and over again until the initial objects become perfectly honed versions of their ideal selves. and in such a way we would be doomed into falling neatly into these slotted categories/definitions of the concept; the cup becomes hyper-distinct from the bowl, distinct from the plate, distinct from the serving plate, distinct from the cutting knife, distinct from the butter knife, distinct from the steak knife. who is to say that a steak knife cannot be used as a butter knife? etc.
which is of course, not to say that concepts are arbitrary thus worthless, etc. etc. to take a page from latour's book (+ foucault), all constructedness makes sense. constructedness is valuable and meaningful, or rather is the source of meaning. the question of the conceptual category/definition of the "roof", or of "art", or "sculpture", or "reception", etc. etc. is teased apart, or at least should be understand as a placeholder that could change at any moment, like relations between soccer players in a game, that hold momentary formations while hurtling across the field.
what I feel from this all is -- everything is labor. everything is constructed. everyone is 'winging it'. there is nothing that is not built out of people. everything is resting on the efforts people, which is both immensely startling and comforting, surprising and damning. the fabric of our existence right now, right here, both stretched thin and grounded deeply, at the same time.
so here's to movement.