Nostalgia: Meditations on Physicality and Geography

Nostalgia:  Meditations on Physicality and Geography

A Collection of Essays Written and Edited by

Stephia Madelyne Kascher

This work would be a collection of essays – people writing about objects as they relate to space and temporal positioning or re-positioning – our multi-sensorial experiences surrounding the physicality of things.  Is this being lost in an age where everything seems to be turning into a screen or a keystroke?

Thus the title “Nostalgia.”

Sherry Turkle used the terminology ‘evocative object’ to underscore the inseparability of thought and feeling in our relationship to things.  Objects hold a certain power as they operate in our lives.  Turkle writes:  ”We live our lives in the midst of things.  Material culture carries emotions and ideas of startling intensity.  Yet only recently have objects begun to receive the attention they deserve.”  Objects are able to catalyze self-creation; bring together thought and feeling; and often we feel at one with them.

I am deeply interested in the ways in which we interact with objects or have interacted – and curious as to whether something is being very much lost with our increasing technological advancements.

Here is a concrete example:

This idea of objects in space and our interactions with geography as it ties to things came about when I was having a conversation with my husband.  Let me first explain that he is 55 and English.  These are relevant points.

Tom was remembering when the Sex Pistols first released  ”God Save the Queen.”  This single was banned for a while, I believe, and in order to acquire it he had to walk a half hour to a small, independent record store, order it, walk home, wait a few weeks, walk back, retrieve the record, etc.

When he actually had the vinyl in his hands the experience was profound.  Tom stills remembers the shape of the landscape he had to traverse in order to acquire the album, the small shop, the shop-owner, the waiting, and the effort.  All of these combined to give the object itself much more value.  Not to mention the creation of such a strong visceral memory.

Today, if I wish to have an ‘album’ I have immediate gratification via iTunes.  Downloaded and a week later I have forgotten that I ordered it in the fist place.  So maybe memory or the creation of memories ties very much into this as well…

I believe that there is something here worthy of investigation – something that could inspire eloquent prose around the formulation of theoretical postulations.

And then there is this:

DISCIPLINE OF DO EASY — GUS VAN SANT, 1982 (WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS)

 

3 thoughts on “Nostalgia: Meditations on Physicality and Geography

  1. This is a wonderful spacial pursuit. I can appreciate your commentary about a sense of place.

    I remember taking my two young daughters into a large record store in California when we lived there. I wanted them to learn how to be invisible and we practiced all afternoon. It was easy once they realized that most people are oblivious and if they cognizantly moved as if they were invisible they could move easily without being seen. It works well in large crowds as well and I was stunned by the video…a veritable training video!

    “Do easy” …of course! I’ve always called it “Gazing”

    • Thank you so much for this beautiful comment.
      I adore the idea of teaching your daughters the art of invisibility; how to interact with space in such a way as to simply blend into the scenery… This is why I love living in New York City. One can be the most anonymous of figures there, admist millions of people. One can fade, quite literally, into the background. Or not – depending on the goal.
      I have a young daughter – just four months old now, but as she grows up I will teach her this also, and your words are an inspiration. Thank you.
      And it is quite the wonderful video, no? I was delighted to come across it… so perfect to what I am trying to explore…

      Thank you again – truly!

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