Interaction? No, it is INTRA-ACTION!

     I felt instantly different when I stepped into a warm and stuffy record store in the east village. This place warmed me up significantly but i knew there are something more than that. The CD store was rather dark, people walked around the store and flipped through different Vinyls. Along with the 80s rock ballad that was playing in the store, some people hummed with it, some people slightly nodded their heads.  Even though I was not familiar with the song, i noticed myself walking more slowly than usual and even my fingers which were flipping through vinyls were moving with a rhythm that matched with the song. I felt so light-hearted and casual. I was in a mood of wasting time.

        There was a sense of belonging. When I spent 5 minutes reading a CD cover which i usually wouldn’t be interested in i felt a spirit. It was a powerful spirit shared by me and other people in the room. It made me genuinely want to do certain things that I wouldn’t do outside of this setting. It didn’t take me long to realize I was not the only one who adjusted myself to fit in this store through following certain “rituals” in a conscious or unconscious way. I started to wonder if it was the people standing inside made the CD store full of Punk sprit or the CD store made the people who stood inside full of spirit?

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         I realized that I could no longer see those people as individual entities apart from those brittle old vinyls, metallic CD shelves, and the 80s rock ballad at play. The boundaries among them are faded. They become something larger – an organic system that breathed in and breathed out the same air. This ecological system together expressed the same history and culture.

      This metaphysical power in the CD store ecology relates to Brennan’s idea of “Affective Transmission”. The store’s atmosphere creates a new existing form of me through changing my way of acting and thinking. We always project ourselves as  absolute independent entities with particular shapes which are completely separate from our creations, like brittle old vinyls, metallic CD shelves and the rock ballad. What a lot of us don’t realize is that our creations also construct us as human at the same time. This phenomena is further explored by Kember and Zylinska who call it “corporeal disposition” or “entanglement”. That is, the culture of music and the technology of CD are inseparable from us. Thus, what happened in the CD store is not inter-action but intra-action!

        Intra-action, then, brings out the result of “mediation”, another interesting concept raised by Kember and Zylinska. Indeed, the outdatedness of physical CDs fosters a new way of engagement. People go to CD store to feel the touch of a CD. What is important is no longer the music inside but the physical packing which people can physically hold. While the technology of CDs becomes obsolete to many people, the new form of communication between people and physical CDs, which has a sense of fetishism and nostalgia, is rather inventive. 



~ by tianqiu255 on March 3, 2015.

2 Responses to “Interaction? No, it is INTRA-ACTION!”

  1. For me, this post was the most evocative in terms of the way it felt! Before reading the actual post, I was really amused by the image, which affected the way I interpreted the tone of the text, which I really enjoyed!
    -Rachel L

  2. I think this is my favorite post (3) and also the most evocative (1)! The way you described the body of people morphing into one as sharing a similar culture was very interesting. And how you connected affect and spirit was really beautiful. It’s a really captivating, metaphysical way to think about affect, as a sort of transfer of spirits, and then how that can be captured and emanated by the physical CDs. I’m interested to know more about how there’s a new sort of inter- or intra-acting with these media!



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