Thursday, January 13, 2011

Necessary distances

Watch a city from afar, from over a lighthouse or a distant hillock - the entirety taken in a glance without the details like an acquaintance who allows you to gaze at her from your apartment before she turns around the corner. Arrays of light and movement abstracted into festoons of vaguely familiar aesthetics lining and defining the contours of what might otherwise be a dark lump on the horizon. The skyline and sounds bear a calming incongruity which allows us to know just enough to like these Hong Kongs and Torontos and Bombays but without divulging details which might make us judge them. To not know is to retain the hope of continuing to like someone. Cities were meant to be seen from a distance, either psychological or spatial.

Farther away...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:13 PM

    This post reminds me of this photographer who goes to great lengths like hiring a navy helicopter etc just to get aerial, top down look on cities. He says that his cynicism abates when the ugly details smudge to the eye of heights! Great photographs - check out his book Above Bombay by Jehangir Sorabjee.

    For myself, I prefer the complete and unvarnished truth. Disgusting or otherwise.