Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'


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I love movement.

I love the simultaneous bob and duck of a hundred heads in concert as the train trundles along over pipes and under cars.

I love the weave, the crab walk, the trot, the two-step dance move as fifty people pathfind through a bottleneck, each move bringing each closer to their goal without stopping or touching one another.

I love the anticipation – heads craned to the fire exit, waiting for the one person with a stroller to open it only to have it take its own gravitational pull with the remaining commuters looking for this, that, any way out.

I love the metro in polis, where nothing is ever truly at rest: Even snoring, the body counts the stops, the heart records the time elapsed. The feet march before the doors open, and the eyes never look at – always above and around and beyond and through, but at is static and static is anathema.

I want to bottle it: Break it down, analyze its pieces, assign it formulae and simulate it over ever-increasingly complex systems. I want to add layers, to merge, to modulate and fuel.

I want modal harmonies, not parallel play. Separation is wrong, segregation an atrocity. Dodge, jostle, rend! Lanes are a suggestion, order a conceit. What matters only is movement, and flow is sacrosanct. Like a diesel engine, work is hardest when at rest.

I love tracking: Parallel is boring, parallax is keen. Intersection is fun; the syncopated merging of two or more pathways at points at once random and ephemeral, requiring active participation in collision avoidance at all times. Avenues are rivers of the most basic, simplified, natural sort: All space is consumed, all drive is forward – whichever direction that may be – all obstacles overcome in real-time, constantly, without interruption.

The workings of many minds making many decisions at all times leaves an electric aura in the air. It is self-feeding. It is exhilarating. I love it.

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