tags: perception published on:
Friction is breath. We don't mean in the physics-is-fun sense, meaning to celebrate the wonders of nature and the profound meaning in each subtle tangent of how the world operates. Maybe we would, on some other day, in some other exhibit at the museum, it is surely worth doing that. But here we are talking about friction in a different way. In the sense of the social discord, in the sense of the distance, the sync between what is there in our heads and what is there on the screen or in the mirror or maybe even sitting in front of us, not being there. There is no sync. There is no ball and socket, no grease to soften the screeching and scratching of surface on surface. And that is the reason we are alive.
Imagine a more well-oiled inter-personal nexus and you might be looking at the forthcoming extinction of the species. When we say friction is breath, we mean it. This friction is apparent in multiple forms. The displeasure we feel when we think about the fact that we occupy space on the same street, sometimes in the same bus, sometimes working on the same things is immense. It is such that, for an instant we even get shaken off the the ground we are stationed on, we have an encounter with insecurity and do the unpardonable offence of introspection. It is like our negative space, our shadow has come alive and we do no not take it very nicely. Friction between two surfaces is the force which caused the discovery of fire. What did the friction between figures and entities cause us to discover?
Only our smallness, the depths to which we can fall and never rise, the dark side.
The social was actually first prototyped and proposed as a system of conventions to blur this friction. Once this blur was applied, the job description of selectively making instances of friction visible and coherent became real. Different people fill this job description at different times. There are even modes of conversation in which reports of friction are shared.
For some this friction is the sole descriptor or art, literary truth, journalistic merit. For others there is something else well above this. For some friction is the only way of figure and ground separation, for others that separation is rendered in view by default. No work needs to be done.