I start by looking for images of parking lots. I’m thinking
about finding the perfect image, or making one. I have to see an image of a
parking lot with over-layed text that reads “Social Network.”
Then I move on to looking at images under the term crash.
There are cartoon characters, crash dummies, airplanes in pieces, bodies,
stills from the movie, cymbals, explosions. I open a new tab: Wikipedia –
Crash. I’m redirected to collision.
A collision is an isolated event in which two or more moving
bodies exert relatively strong forces on each other for a relatively short
time. ¶ Collisions can be elastic, meaning they conserve energy and momentum,
inelastic, meaning they conserve momentum but not energy, or totally inelastic
(or plastic), meaning they conserve momentum and the two objects stick
It’s this last type of collision that interests me most, the
totally inelastic one—when the two colliding objects merge into one and
While cruising through the images I’m collecting, I think of
Jean Baudrillard and then J.G. Ballard, retracing steps that I took three years
ago, all in perfect recall. I make a new folder called parking-lots and drop in
images with filenames like 5781586-aerial-view-of-an-empty-parking-lot,
grantham-parking-lot-0951, Lot, Tel_Aviv_parking_lot, and zoo_lot2-750149.
It’s getting dark outside and my terminal is bathing this
corner of the room and the front side of my knuckles in bluish light. My
fingernails dimly reflect the screen. All the tiny parallel ridges reflect
light in opposing directions, causing the reflection to appear matte.
I get up from my desk, look out the window, decide not to
close the drapes, turn around and glance at the cat, then sit back down. My
fingernails are long and hit the keys before the pads of my fingers. I ...