Only Senseless Hope Makes Sense

Walking Project, Mannheim, October 2020

The catastrophe […] is neither waiting down the road, nor has it already happened. Rather, it is being lived through. There is no punctual moment of disaster; the world doesn’t end with a bang, it winks out, unravels, gradually falls apart. What caused the catastrophe to occur, who knows; its cause lies long in the past, so absolutely detached from the present as to seem like the caprice of a malign being: a negative miracle, a malediction which no penitence can ameliorate. Such a blight can only be eased by an intervention that can no more be anticipated than was the onset of the curse in the first place. Action is pointless; only senseless hope makes sense. Superstition and religion, the first resorts of the helpless, proliferate.

— Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism

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Replace Totalities by Fragments

Walking Project, Mannheim, October 2020

In the same way, in walking it selects and fragments the space traversed; it skips over links and whole parts that it omits. From this point of view, every walk constantly leaps, or skips like a child, hopping on one foot practices the ellipsis of conjunctive loci.

In reality, these two pedestrian figures are related. In order to make it play the role of a “more” (a totality) and take its place (the bicycle or the piece of furniture in a store window stands for a whole street or neighbourhood) – by elision, creates a ‘less’: opens gaps in the spatial continuum, and retains only selected parts of it that amount almost to relics . Synecdoche replaces totalities by fragments (a less in the place of a more); asyndeton disconnects them by eliminating the conjunctive or the consecutive (nothing in place of something). Synecdoche makes more dense: It amplifies the detail and miniaturizes the whole. Asyndeton cuts out: it undoes continuity and undercuts its plausibility.

— Michel de Certeau, Walking in the City

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