Our field study occurred on lands of the Pueblo people—the true stewards of this place. I was/am a guest.
I keep thinking about the drinking-water facility beside the Rio Grande, “built to resemble a Spanish mission church to better blend in with its surroundings.” I stood beside it, hearing and feeling its industrial hum; it sounded like no church I’ve ever been to.
The past few months have been an awakening to the pipes and wires and tracks that uphold my life. I’ve been following lines and flows, realizing I walk by a natural gas pipe there, drive by a generating station here.
Why didn’t I see the infrastructure that supports me? Why is a pump station masked as a church? Are we ashamed of the cost of our living? What would it mean to create infrastructure meant to be seen? Something to be celebrated? Something not weighed down by costs we wish to forget?
Fences or distance, innocuous facade or duplicitous facade—all ways we keep infrastructure at bay. But it’s easy to witness effect.
I’m interested in where control lapses—where humans are reminded other forces and life have a say.
It’s like trying to hold a feather still in the wind.
For now, I’m working on seeing what I’ve been blind to.
I keep returning to these displaced trees, now standing as transmission poles.
I keep thinking of the years they collected and hardened sunlight, inch by inch. A height aimed at reaching light above a canopy. That height now holds wires, carrying energy at the speed of light.
Our field study occurred on lands on the Pueblo people—the true stewards of this place. I was/am a guest.
ways things connect—
1. By similarity e.g. an echo of movement, color, shape, etc.
2. By direct influence on each other e.g. through touch or exchange
3. By an intermediary e.g. something that touches both or contains both (such as a category or place)
Everything is connected.
Yet to consider connection—whether in thought, speech, or art—requires you to isolate. Thus to connect requires a temporary (and false) disconnection.
Meaning, there is power (and responsibility) innate to the act. It determines what/who is included/excluded. It creates center and periphery.
So yes, my white finger making synaptic connections in your mind should make you wary.
Especially since I have a feeling mental connections influence physical ones.
movement of matter—
Matter is meant to move.
It folds and turns. Gathers and dissolves. Even in a bodily pause—it drips and sheds.
It may rest, whether for a moment or an eon, but eventually it continues—in someone else, to somewhere else.
Ants move it up and out. Water drags it off mountains, scouring arroyos. Trees thread into it. We all digest it.
We all are it—matter.
So when does movement cross a line?
I’m not sure how to answer that question yet ( the one above). But I wonder if the notion of ownership plays a part. When one assumes ownership of matter, it alters its movement in strange ways.
Ownership provokes a desire to preserve and contain. It grips matter close, doing everything to avoid its (dis)integration. It supposes stasis is possible.
Owning also leads to moving matter in unfettered ways. To own means one can move or alter matter, all to one’s advantage.
It can result in moving uranium out of stone, then hiding it under stone, leaving a trail of harm along the way. It can look like dragging steel up a mountain, to speak beyond the mountain.
But what if matter is life? And as such it is a responsibility, not a right?
I think of people who move matter to help matter other than themselves.
I think of Jenn saying the focus of her summer: move “life” from her farm to the farmer’s market—as a way to feed her community.
Connection within movement: a network. It’s when some distance or difference is crossed and thus connected.
Its imagery is ubiquitous: nodes and lines. Often static. Often abstract. (An asset for neoliberalism, I wonder?)
Patrick Jagoda (in Network Aesthetics):
The problem of global connectedness cannot be understood independently of the formal features of a network imaginary. By network imaginary, I mean the complex of material infrastructures and metaphorical figures that inform our experience with and our thinking about the contemporary social world.
How can I see it differently?
Abstractions fall on bodies. Networks—whether they help or harm— manifest materially. We may chart and arrow, but its in bodies that we really see.
So the questions shift.
In what bodies are networks manifest? How is a network felt?