Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Reading Response: Vito Acconci

In the reading by Vito Acconci the author strives to convince us that we are living in a world where we are controlled by time and city planners alike, and that we must rebel from our modern culture to find a simpler, happier, and truer way of life.

While I will admit that this reading was quite entertaining and Acconci brought up many points that were nice to mull over in your head, a lot of the reading felt unoriginal and too self important. The way Acconci wrote reminded me of a lot of kids that I went to high school with that would rattle off all of the conspiracy theories that they were able to read online. At some point you just lose interest in what they are talking about, and that only makes them spew out even crazier and more abrasive ideas. There have been plenty of authors that have written about their disenchantment with modern society, and I feel as though Acconci is almost riding on the coattails of people in the early twentieth century that first started complaining about their fears of how modernism would negatively impact society.

With that being said there are parts of his essay that I liked reading and had to think about longer. In paragraph six he writes that while many people gather in a public space, they do not behave as though they are one public. Groups stick together and do not mingle with other groups. People are everywhere, especially in the city, you cannot go anywhere without at least passing people, more often having to sidestep them and struggle to keep a fast pace while trying not to accidentally touch anyone else. You rarely have any real human interactions with all of the people you are surrounded by. This reminds me of the themes Georges Seurat was going after in his painting "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte". Seurat wanted to show how he was afraid that the modern practice of going out to "see and be seen" was causing more people to come out in public space but less human interactions between the people. This shows how people both at the end of the 19th century and people in the 1980's both feared of a loss of human connection.

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