Friday, April 03, 2009

Rhythming the Walk

"Don't the steps in Venice rhythm the walk through the city, while serving simultaneously as a transition between different rhythms" (Lefebvre and Régulier, "Attempt at the Rhythmanalysis of Mediterranean Cities," in Rhythmanalysis, p. 97)? Staircases transport us into a sublime Mediterranean. Two at a time, three at a time, wild speeds almost, almost into the blue. A meditation on domes, the sphericality of the physique redoubled, lifted and melodized, synecdoches of knees like accordions, a breathing, rhythmed. The metaterrestial dimension of staircases consists in being able to taste a worldless time unencumbered by the logic of reality while being suspended above, though never completely free of, the Earth, being about the Earth. (Worldlessness may be just such a suspension in place of a full emancipation, wrought with a feeling of impermanence.) Such a time is given rhythmically, which implies, according to Lefebvre and Régulier, a taking place, a placement amidst the concrete. Yet it's the sky that guides the taking of staircases, even gray skies, ceilings–there is always the implied arch which is thrown up above the breach, which arises from the breach, the spherical's step into motion. Do age and weariness eventually bring us to succumb to the rhythm that's been laid for us, the rhthym set in the stones of the staircase? Not perfectly, no. Yet we both bend ourselves to and we are bent by staircases. One step at a time they transport us into a slower world, a world that much closer to lying down.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 5:47 AM.


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