Sunday, March 31, 2013

Vito Acconci Reading

"An open public space, like the piazza, is a vast multidirectional space.  People are dots sprinkled across the floor; one dot slides into another and slips past another to continue on its own.  A number of dots queue up to form a dotted line of tourists who follow a flag and crisscross another dotted line of tourists.  Here and there, as if scattered through a sea, dots merge together into islands.  It's every person for him- or herself here, every group for itself, and the tower above all.  The space is public, but the people in it don't function as a public.  In order for public space to be a gathering place, where all the people are gathered together as a public, it needs a gathering point.  To be seen and read as a public, to act and/or be used as a public, the dots have to form a circle, as if around a point; or they have to form a line, as if toward a point; or they have to blend together so that they form a point themselves, which blots and spreads out to cover the piazza floor."


This paragraph from the Vito Acconci reading really struck me.  While Acconci's main goal is in discussing space, social interaction obviously ties in as well.  Human beings do need to share a common point, or possess some sort of commonality in order for an interaction to take place.  This could be as simple as being in the same room with someone, or as complicated as sharing the same blood line.  However, if beings share the goal of interaction, the necessity for an outside commonality no longer exists.  People would be interacting for the sake of interacting, and getting to know one another.  Acconci discusses the influence of sex on interactions, stating that it is a driving force.  While I believe this to be true, it doesn't necessarily mean that every interaction is sex driven.

Space as public, but people not functioning as a public can be true but is also reversible.  The individual 'dots' forming the public, once open to meeting each other  do 'form a point themselves'.  I wonder if it is possible for this larger point, or larger interaction, to lose boundaries.  I feel that in order to do so, individuals would have to loosen their grip on the self and be open to individuals and experiences beyond their comfort zones and possibly their understanding.

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