side-by-side | inside-outside

This is the specific topic of the Micro Book Three.


It's structurally really hard I think to imagine beyond emptiness/wholeness, because these are predicated on the structure of inside-outside and this structure is something very much embedded into how humans live and think. I can only be empty or whole, if I have an inside and an outside. And I do have and inside and outside, right?! The image of the human with an inside and a corresponding outside seems so obvious -- we are bounded clearly by our exterior skin (physical inside-outside) and also by strong notions of self/me (psychological inside-outside). And our architecture, names, bank accounts, fences, national boundaries, clubs-congregations-organisations-groups, etc etc work in this way, operating with a lot of inside-and-outsides. 

It’s important to note here that inside-outside-ness is the spatial expression of negative difference. The negative difference of “This = Not-That” is spatialised as “Inside = Not-Outside”. Interior and exterior don't have to look like an architectural inside and outside. Rather, in whatever way they do it, they somehow operate with boundaries that mark difference in terms of negation.

Ok, is there any other structure that is beyond inside-outside? Which is ask: what's the spatial expression of positive difference? What is “This + That”?. I'm offering the image/spatiality of side-by-side. In the case of side-by-side-ness, there is difference, marked at boundaries (changes of intensity, density and speeds) but the boundaries/differences don't created inside-and-outsides but rather just patches of difference in a single, rich, undulating terrain of this plus that plus etc etc.


Think about the way a skateboarder can treat the city. Not as buildings that belong to different organisations with trespassing laws, nor as roads with correct and incorrect sides to be on, but rather as a single variegated plan upon which to glide and grind. The people that practice parkour, do all this without the board and wheels - just their bodies. Oh la la.

Skate-boarding, graffiti, parker etc is a ‘scourge to society’ not just for fears about damaged property and persons. There are possible health risks and possible financial costs to these activities. But I think they are a real worry to the authorities because of something deeper -- which is that they question our current insides-and-outsides and, even moreso, they question the very idea of inside-outside-ness. Maybe we could live without insides and outsides! This is the threat of the nomadic to the sedentary, the threat of the drifter to the rooted, and the threat of positive difference to negative difference.


Where does all this inside-outside-ness come from? 

I reckon it comes from the stockpiling of humans (in built environment, in food, in language and memory, in social organisation etc etc), as opposed to foraging (which we also do, perhaps more than we think). My micro-book Number 1 is all about this. And then micro-book Number 2 shows how this stockpiling/foraging works itself out institutionally (the rhizomic asylum of foraging vs the hierarchical institution). And then the micro-book Number 3 deals directly with inside-outside vs side-by-side. 


Remember I said above that I thought positive and negative difference exist together. Well it's like saying that inside-outside-ness and side-by-side-ness exist always together. If so, the question then is: which type of existence drives us and our decisions, our actions and our caring? (or: how are these two different types of difference best combined?). Addams Family are driven by one, and the Brady Bunch by the other?