The Horizon of Our Concerns

Rendering of the swimming pool at the Trump Tower in Manila

This problem of the human site or living space is not simply that of knowing whether there will be enough space for men in the world -a problem that is certainly quite important – but also that of knowing what relations of propinquity, what type of storage, circulation, marking, and classification of human elements should be adopted in a given situation in order to achieve a given end. Our epoch is one in which space takes for us the form of relations among sites.

Foucault, “Of Other Spaces: Heterotopias”. 1967.

Before leaving New York, I was talking about visas with Dan and Julie. Dan said he didn’t get the whole visa thing, in his words, “How do you not realize that if you keep moving in one direction, you will eventually end up somewhere else?” Leaving out the social, economic, and political ramifications of the porousness of borders, Dan’s explanation is, essentially, what travel is. Then again, Dan’s American; of Puerto Rican descent, but no less American. He don’t need no visa.

Travel, while it comes loaded with expectations and arrivals at a new concept of self, is basically moving in one direction to arrive somewhere else (unless you’re a drug mule). And you can make of that very basic, very simple fact whatever you wish. And then there are restrictions: there are restrictions, and there are “restrictions”.

I started writing this entry on the day my U.S. visa expired, but then things got busy. I went to Jakarta for a week, and now things have indefinitely slowed down. I say indefinitely, because it depends on whether you think sitting in bed, in your pajamas, “chasing” a Wednesday evening deadline with another one on its heels as “slowing down”.

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