Movement Without Motion

the author in Normandie, France, c. 2017

This can describe many things:

Blacking out: drunk, you went to the club, you danced and maybe you fucked somebody but without the memory, it’s a

scene change in a film, the cut-to-black of a softcore porno, the grisly murder or car crash that we can only imagine because it’s

off camera, like the service and maintenance labourers at high-powered dinner functions or state events, armies of the unrecognised on whose backs ride the faces of the easily identified are carried

sleeping on trains, in cars, past the aggressively monotonous scenery from an aeroplane, and when you land your luggage

magically appears out of the wall, or the floor, or the ceiling; there in your new destination, without your slightest intervention since check-in, just like

groceries at the supermarket, or the toys on wire shelves, best-sellers stacked in inspired rows with erudite precision on designer wood-block tables; just like kitchen towels, garden tools, and USB drives ordered through the “series of tubes” that criss and tie our crossed world of

ideas and supply chains and everything else that resists being easily catalogued, labelled, placed into a Universal Hierarchy of Reason that which refuses to be rendered in terms of

Capital, that great grey goo driving to render all things equivalent to all others, albeit in varying proportions in

perfect mathematical harmony ever-lasting until the eventual

heat-death of the universe.


I think this would make a fantastic exhibition. “Movement Without Motion: That Which Unseen Yet Moves Our World” There is space here for photographs and stories from slow-boat international shipping crews, who move vast arrays of the world’s consumables but play no part in our imagining of it. There is space for the workers and maintenance employees who create the appearance of effortless perfection at museums, government buildings, fancy hotels, and anywhere that can afford such illusion. All of the fascination with “The Secret Lives:” of Dildo Manufacturers; or chocolatiers; factory-workers making Nike, Adidas, Apple and Samsung products; of cannabis ice-cream artisans; all of that can be fit in here.

I view it as chance to humanize, dare I say empathise with, the movement that we see around us which is completed without notice or attention or thought. The human machinery that all too often is erased even in language: “the city repaired the potholes.” Yes, but there were people there doing that labour, providing that service, in that moment. Human will against the world. Just possible plans for the future…whenever someone needs a commission idea.