Friday, 23 August 2013

Temporality of it all

The rare beach days this week reminded me how most of the everyday and special day activities we do do not leave any traces at all. The repetitive actions that the persons do purposefully for their own leisure may disappear in moments, be over in minutes and leave no trace. Some of these special landscapes are transient, such as the beach establishments. In some countries these have permanent structures, but in some places, such as Jersey, they are just rental services that pile their merchandise overnight under tarpaulin. In the morning they place their beach stretchers in pairs with or without an umbrella in order to lure the customers to take a seat in their comfort.

Sand castle being wiped away

Many of the families were making sand castles like we were and these castles were wiped out by the high tide. During the hours leading to the low tide the life guards and the surfing board and banana boat adventure renters kept moving their Jeeps and stacks of boards and kayaks nearer to the waterline. Not trace of these tracks were visible the following day and the narrow stretch that stayed above the water was covered by windblown dry white sand. You could see how the same meaningful actions were to follow each others partly by the same people and partly by the passing tourists from one day to the other.

This intentionality probably defines best the temporality as meant by Ingold in his seminal 1993 article. Our task will be by Christmas to define properly how this taskscape is different from any ceramiscene we have been discussing - even if the taskscape was one of the inspirations behind the ceramiscene as a concept. This example of temporality does show that my love for lazy beach days is not for vain!

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