David Dale, Glasgow
05.11 – 10.12.16
Flâneuse 1: Yeah good I think, (lips purse together) my brain seems to only relax enough to write in the margins of the day. But this morning I didn’t do much as I’m heading to the hospital for an appointment.
Flâneuse 2: (Checks her phone as it vibrates in her pocket). Oh weird I just got a facebook like from your ex boyfriend?!…(Shakes head as though shaking off the interruption) where were we…yeah, it always gives me comfort that when I’m awoken through the night, that there are others doing the same, up , and sleep deprived in other homes. I try and think of my lack of sleep and all the time breastfeeding as a space for other doing. Do you know that book that the French philosopher Jacques Ranciere wrote Proletarian Nights? It talks about the revolutionary activity the workers of Paris would engage in at night. They would reject their body’s need for sleep, as that would only allow them to return to the factory the next day; and instead write, meet, discuss, publish newspapers…poetry.
Flâneuse 1: Wait a sec, just need to switch shoulders for these bags…(pauses briefly to bend over and crack back). Yeah, it’s for my back, all that hunching over the laptop. I’m going to be getting ultrasound treatment for it. I didn’t realise ultrasound was not only for seeing things? The treatment is some kind of invasive heat treatment. (Screwing up face). I’ve always felt ambivalent about ultrasound. It seems to be the ultimate instrument of patriarchy, exposing all the dark corners of the female body, all the ‘negative’ space between things. The writers Tiqqun talk of ultrasound as, ‘an abusive operation. (Where) beneath its pretext of therapeutic intent it violates a secret space removed from visibility. By means of technology it gives itself the right to predict a future loaded with consequences.’
Flâneuse 2: (Nods in thought). There is something also about it producing an image that is so amazing and exposing at the same time. (Pushes buggy over a corroded drain cover, the back wheel slips into the hole and she is forced to lift the buggy up and over it).
Despite the many miles between them they both arrive at a hospital simultaneously. One pushes the buggy up the ramp passing a gathering of smokers with bodies attached to rolling drips. Behind their heads is a bleached out ‘No Smoking’ sign. To the right, doors to a construction site are ajar and early morning workers are let in by the security guard. On entering the hospital she is confronted by a bank of large flat screen monitors, they offer guides for how to navigate the hospital. Names of hospital wings like Bute, Arran and Cumbrae conjure landscapes that interrupt the hostile brightness of the hospital lighting. She makes her way to the hospital cafe. It’s the only place near to her flat that is open at this hour in the morning. She feels in her pocket for change and buys a coffee for the walk back. The other, stops outside the hospital to find ID for her appointment. On the wall behind her is a orange sprayed peace sign and text that reads ‘happiness is when you live where you work’. She unconsciously swipes her finger up her phone and snaps a picture. It has started to rain and she hurries into the lobby. A flat screen greets her with an advertisement for ‘My First Drone’ that compares the different drone cameras on the market. Curious, she lingers, before realising she is late for her appointment.
(Extracts from The Wave Machine & The Flâneuse)