The Invisible Line

Anybody ever watched CBS TV series “Under the Dome”? It’s a story about a small town suddenly got cut off from the rest of the world by a transparent dome. While looking from the outside, nothing appears to be abnormal, the small town, however, becomes an independent system with its own air circulation, supplies of food and water and the suffusion of an atmosphere of panic and anxiety.


“Under the Dome” could be a perfect 4D interpretation of what Fuller called “Media Ecologies”: a system where different affects come into play to form an typical “environment” while the affects could be both human forces and non-human elements. And according to Brennan, these affects have “energetic dimension” (6). They gradually enhance when bouncing back and forward within the “dome”, and give out this stronger and stronger emotional force that make those residents trapped under the dome more aggressive, more anxious or more depressed.

While you are the part of those affects, they influence you correspondingly, changing your way of seeing yourself and seeing the overall environment. “We are not self-contained in terms of our energies. There is no secure distinction between the ‘individual’ and the ‘environment’” (Brennan, 6).

While in real life when we stroll down New York City, going through different neighborhoods, we are unconsciously entering and exiting these different “domes” with invisible boundaries. Some transitions seem smoother, while some can be drastic and significantly influential.

I live in Hell’s Kitchen currently, in a location which is not too far away from Time Square, not too far away from the Central Park, and not too far away from the the Hudson River. I hardly feel fit-in in this neighborhood as a student among floods of business-suit people, tourists and horse carriages.


Two horse-drawn carriages are ridden on Central Park West 

While I commute through the E train from 50th street to West 4, and each time when I step out of the West 4 subway station, I feel like entering a whole different domain, a much more comfortable “environment” where population are much younger, roads are more narrow, density of coffee shop got higher and I myself feel much more inspired, vibrant, having this urge for knowledge. No this is exaggeration. But it’s impressive how spending time in the Pan-NYU area slowly adds meaning to me being here and how my working-studying-mode can be triggered here. The building, landscape, students and teachers, smell from coffee shops, pedestrians’ walking pace – all these affects are well-woven together in a similar fashion of rhizome, giving out new significances to the area.

In my possible, likely-to-be-changed ecology project, I would love to explore a much more drastic division between two NYC-representative neighborhoods: Soho and Chinatown. While they are just next to each other, Canal Street seems to function like an invisible Berlin Wall that cuts them into two socially, politically, economically and culturally different parts.


What make these two areas so different and what does it mean to be in these two ares? What makes Chinatown the 90’s Hong Kong and SOHO the high-class oasis in Lower Manhattan? To be answered.


Abby Wu


~ by abbywu1123 on September 21, 2016.

2 Responses to “The Invisible Line”

  1. Learning: I thought your post did a really good job of creating in my mind a concrete image of what an ecology is– of the bouncing around of emotions and thoughts in a space based on ALL of the entities entrapped within.

  2. Best in learning: because you begin to work with the texts early in your post. It gives a concrete theme that readers can follow, and better understand

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