Friday, 22 May 2009

Then there are the flows of wealth, marked by the dirt that accompanies hard currency. Exchanges of goods, will or services transfers these most symbolic of papers and alloys into the hands of another. Irreversibly a balance is redrawn. Just as likely that in Swoszowice, Wedding or elsewhere, knowingly or otherwise, money is also laundered, cleansed of its numeric traces. Incomes are redetermined, criminals or craftsmen undergo activities that place economics outside the rule of thermodynamic law, creating something from nothing, evolving their respective markets either with or without victim, regard or innovation. Taxation pursues its interminable ambition, assets and liabilities are brought into cancellation with inky strikes. Governmental attempts at a guarded redistribution aim to educe a hushed structural change, to which end remains known only to the legislators. The Deutsche Börse and Warsaw Stock Exchange go about their daily securities as capital is raised, governance eschewed, bonds and derivatives thrown between cities and across oceanic plates without recompense.

Rivers of people, pouring everyday into the alleys and across thresholds. Living spaces are abandoned and reoccupied, an empty room moves around the city, headed back against a tide of new dwellings. Commuters ballast the day's centre and retreat to the margins, towards Bieżanów-Prokocim or Lichterfelde. Trade-routes, both micro and macro, are played out in the thoroughfares, shops and street-markets. Some people, indeed, walk without purpose, crossing the entire city, heading across divisions of time, moving boundaries and walls no longer existent, traversing those histories that have been abandoned, those that remain only in narratives. Their paths are governed by unseen decisions, barely recognised flickers of intuition deciding this way or that. It is within such irretrievable contingents that cities hold their abyssal depths.

So to tell of a city requires a detachment. The description of a city attempts no reality, but an abstraction. To write of a city is impossible; we can only write of our detachment from it. Anthesis of the human spirit is both made possible by urban congregations and dissaffirmed by them. Prevailing religiosity, artistic enterprise, the expansion of knowledge, all unfold from within areas of the city both designated and otherwise. The spread and fades of depression, patterns of reality, the dissemination of lingual conceits, slang and abbreviations, the conduit of distant medias, radios and televisions - all host a truth unknown.

No comments: