Search
  • Mark This

Touching upon Touch

Touching upon touch… with buckets of reference to Karen Barad.


Radical new imagineries… moving from militarisms… racisms… colonialising forces… re-covering our pasts… that sit alongside me here and now… with these futures… that gain their shape from what is… what was… that enfolds them with the messy entanglements of our everything… all within this busy void… that holds all our potentialities… all our us… all our other… queering the very notion of a-void.


Touch… with pure intent… will connect… will rewire… re-pair… self with self… self with other… self with strangers… our strangers within.


Sit for a moment… touch one hand with the other… for two or three minutes... if this is possible for you… feel your way round the structure… the viscosity… the temperature… the surface tension… allow your skin to absorb whatever information may appear… go with… sit with… bear witness… withness… re-membering the touch you discovered a couple of months before your were born… attune to sensation… or don’t… this is no instruction… this is no thing… this is this… maybe within this… the not knowing holds information… and when I let go and emerge into this… pure intent… to discover… to re-member… to re-call… there is this.


“When two hands touch, there is a sensuality of the flesh, an exchange of warmth, a feeling of pressure, of presence, a proximity of otherness that brings the other nearly as close as oneself, perhaps closer.


And if the two hands belong to one person, might this not enliven, in the uncanny sense of the otherness of self, a literal holding oneself at a distance, in the sensation of contact, the greeting of the stranger within.


So much happens in a touch, an infinity of others, other beings, other spaces, other times are aroused.


When two hands touch, how close are they, what is the measure of closeness?


Which disciplinary knowledge formations, political parties, religious and cultural traditions, infectious disease authorities, immigration officials and policy makers do not have a stake in, if not a measured answer, to this question.”


So tell me… or rather tell yourself… and your own strangers within… what is your intention when reaching out for touch?… when reaching within for touch… there is an infinity of finitudes here… if like Karen… I am to wander down this invisible path… I may well bump into Richard Feynman… who was in horror at the obviousness of electrons… negatively charged presences… repulsing each other… looking for the far reaches of their own atomic shells… while consisting of touch for themselves… re-consuming their own photons… and enfolding with space and time in intimate dances… spreading out across everything… nothing… and all that is between.

Feynman described these electrons as bare… and was only happy and comfortable when they were dressed.


Bare and dressed electrons is quantum field theory technical language… and flips me across to the colonial need to dress… to steal the names of things previously named by others… indigenous others... and impose new uses of their terms… their names… their very words.


To be bare… to be dressed… to touch something in the other… in a universe that is held together by touch… in a dance of repulsion and attraction.


This may not be a love story… and all the time… is wrapped in… entangled with… words that re-pair with love.


Thanks for the inspiration and for many of the words used here to Karen Barad. Specifically for this piece on Youtube called;

On Touching: The Alterity Within. Karen Barad.


Listening with my fizzy callity... most present at my edges... and at the edges of my skin.





28 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Work