One day, I promised my girlfriend that I would come with her to deliver a package full of socks to a shelter for the needy in preparation for the upcoming cold. We walked over half an hour, and in that much time, I witnessed completely separate iterations of New York City. If you walk long enough, you will pass through neighborhoods each with their distinct qualities. What you feel as you transition through these imaginary borders is an affect. Don’t confuse it with emotion, because chances are, you don’t feel it at that moment. You just feel a change. As Jamie put it, “You are a mesh. Affect flows into you, and out of you.”

Shh. Don’t worry Donald. Don’t ask why. Just accept it.

What allows us to “feel these things” is a suspension of judgement. Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska mention this suspension of judgement in Life after New Media as a prerequisite leading up to the development of critique. Allowing the feeling or aura of your environment, “the hint of animate” according to Bennett, wash through you before/without forming judgements or attempting to categorize your feelings toward it is critical to your understanding of yourself and your surroundings.

This feeling of the aura of a place is one of the most unique features of New York City, because of its sheer quantity and density. The strip of road that spans only a couple blocks but connects Astor Place and St Mark’s Place could not encapsulate this feature of the city any better. With an imaginary boundary only the width of 3rd Avenue separating the two streets, each still holds onto its own reputation, vibe, and culture. In a city where entire cultures can already be traversed within 10 minutes of walking, these two streets, less than a mile long, emphasize the idea of a city so extremely compressed and stratified.


~ by colinjhong on March 3, 2015.

One Response to “Mesh”

  1. #1 The most evocative-feel. From your post I really began to imagine how different places evoke different emotional responses. Your incorporation of Jamie’s example of “mesh” really resonated with how one’s environment has the ability to impact one’s inner self.

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