continent. maps a topology of unstable confluences and ranges across new thinking, traversing interstices and alternate directions in culture, theory, biopolitics and art.
Issue 3.2 / 2013: 28-30

Sentences on Drifting

Patricia Reed

This piece, included in the drift special issue of continent., was created as one step in a thread of inquiry. While each of the contributions to drift stand on their own, the project was an attempt to follow a line of theoretical inquiry as it passed through time and the postal service(s) from October 2012 until May 2013.

This issue hosts two threads: between space & place and between intention & attention. The editors recommend that to experience the drifiting thought that attention be paid to the contributions as they entered into conversation one after another. This particular piece is from the BETWEEN INTENTION & ATTENTION thread:

Jeremy Fernando, Sitting in the Dock of the bay, watching... * R.H. Jackson, Reading Eyes * Gina Rae Foster, Nyctoleptic Nomadism: The Drift/Swerve of Knowing * Bronwyn Lay, Driftwood * Patricia Reed, Sentences on Drifitng * David Prater, drift: a way

* * * * *

1. To drift is to be propelled by currents.

2. Sentences are textual currents.

3. To drift is to be compelled with currents.

4. To be compelled is to be overcome by some force.

5. To be overcome by some force requires the instantiation of a weightless body (virtual or actual), upon which and through which a force can operate.

6. Forces can be physical, cognitive, unconscious and sensory.

7. Forces of drift have no particular telos; they incline bodies without knowable destination.

8. Drifting is nomadic, where nomadism includes movements between places, times (also time-zones), genres, thought and cognitive states.

9. Forces are attractors; attractivity is a force.

10. Attractivity is a relation between force and body.

11. Attractivity is relation of exteriority; it is of the domain of the foreign.

12. To drift is to become the prey of attraction, the prey of the foreign.

13. In the movement of becoming prey, one can either be eaten or feed into a re-composition of things.

14. Drifting is liminal; it can be equally productive and destructive.

15. The deviated course implied by drifting may yield novelty, yet may equally yield a perpetual deferral of any positionality.

16. The state of drifting is necessary to the creation of novelty.

17. The state of drifting can inhibit the creation of novelty.

18. The modern drift was celebrated as a form of emancipation, through the liberation of urban structures traced on foot, to the negation of banal tasks in riding on the open highway. In the attention economy, drifting has become a paradigm of labour, precarious and otherwise.

19. To drift in a novel fashion requires a necessary threshold between distraction and re-attraction.

20. Re-attraction is a form of going off-track, yet implies the fidelity to an alter force. Re-attraction is eccentric in inclination, that is, decentred, casting alter orbits of orientation.

21. Eccentricity is a form of drift defined as a body inflected by the force of heterogeneous inclination. Eccentricity is the fidelity to the becoming-foreign of the body as prey to attractivity.

22. Drift as eccentricity is equal to the creation of novel modes of inclination alter to the limits of normative orbits of determinate trajectories.

23. The effects of eccentric drifting can only be known post-movement.

24. All modes of drifting (natural and cognitive) are relative to some former position, although distances and their capacity for measurement are inconsistent.

25. Eccentric drifting does not result in relativism. Drifting is transitional, and, like a Moiré pattern, produces interferences between things.

26. Where there is drifting there are both side-effects and side-affects, which feed-back into the inclination of drift itself.

27. Side-effects and side-affects may produce conditions and sensibilities of failure.

28. The ethics of drifting play out in the responsiveness to side-effects/side-affects.

29. Eccentric drifting is not algorithmic, informational, strategic nor opportunistic; it is tactically lived experience.

30. Eccentric drifting is a dance with contingency, of repositioning a body (a body includes thought) through the affirmation of re-attraction.

31. Eccentric drifting is a form of love, a love of existence that proceeds strategic coupling with ideas, people, situations, places and so forth.

32. As a form of love, eccentric drifting can generate changes of state (and even changes of State).

33. Currents that propel/compel a state of eccentric drifting may be imaginary; a possible current includes the attractive force to that which is not (yet) present.

34. Eccentric drifting is not only a state of transitional movement, but most importantly includes the fabrication of imaginary forces that could propel/compel a given body and its spheres of interaction.

35. These sentences comment on drift, but are not exemplary of drifting.