Affective Proximity

Our brains are funny. Perhaps. They filter and choose of what the depths of our hearts desire to see. Biased. Selective. Yet, alarming. of the reality. Of one’s desires. Of the absences. Or the truth. Perhaps.

“A secret sadness that contains hedonism/consumerism pleasure permeated the 21st century. ”

“Frustration+anger+self-disgust+something is missing”
Kodwo Eshun, Mark Fisher Memorial Lecture, 2018

When I go to my room to rest. to find rest. something is itching. something is cutting the space. Inside. The inner child in me is weeping. Pierced by a bullet. Unstoppably. Yet, I lay down without a tear. I don’t know why I cannot, why I cannot cry and let it go, and be OK again.

I wish for that affective proximity. Of ending isolation and connecting. Of losing my oneness, of consenting not to be a single being. Of connecting. Not just by the surface. But in all. To melt. To feel and to give.


That was yesterday.

While I still long and desire, my heart is well. When entering the gallery today – I discovered that my favourite smell is sanded wood. My place of peace is composed of bright wooden floors, warmth in the space, aesthetics, curiosity, and harmony. And soothing colours. It is made of people not intervening but moving in the symphony. In slow motions. Stopping to see, to investigate, to care.

affective proximity1

Matt Sounders @ Marian Goodman Gallery, London 2018 01 20


Who has the power of my life?

For my Autobiographies module, I was reading Michael Foucault on ‘Right to Life and Death’. In this chapter, he describes that the power of the sovereignty was to be able to possess one’s life by the ability to take it or leave it. It made me think what’s the greatest power one could ever possess. Perhaps quite an obvious idea – the ultimate power of taking away life – yet, something I never think about. To be able to have a life. To be able to breath and experience my surroundings. I do not question or ask about my existence – I just am. Yet, we are (I am) in the system, governed by rules that can ultimately take my life away. It can take my life away via someone’s (or maybe even my own) unintentional action of running over me on the road, crashing into the plane I am on…and millions of other ways. Or my life can possibly be taken away by my own actions against the system. Doing something that severely breaks a countries law. It could be quite literal by a death penalty or by sucking the life out of me by enclosing me in a prison cell.

Yet, sometimes I wonder too if by making certain choices I am sabotaging life out of myself. Making choices that deprive me of connection that deprive me of purpose, that push me down the hole.

What does it mean to have a life? What does it mean to live a life of purpose? What does it mean to live with love? What does it mean to live meaningfully?

Is there? Is there meaning? Or is it a void…an absence…?

Is there God? Who gave me the right to be? Who made that choice? Did I make it in that alternative universe by choosing my parents? Or did He do it? Why? Why do I exist on this planet? Why do I walk? Why do I breathe?

Is there an answer?


Happiness is shared – ends “Into The Wild” – the book about a boy who starved to death alone.

Safe, comfortable, cozy, warm and welcoming – the Shard experience, with the stunning views.

Overwhelming too. With tourists and strangers in compact spaces.

Would be wonderful…if…shared.

Only now I realise how little did I appreciate the experience in the tower last year when We went for cocktails. Bars, crowds and that kind of music with it – has never caused fascination to me. Quite the opposite. Perhaps, it took away the moment. Or…maybe the experience of Camille’s rooftop. I don’t know. But I wish I could go back, and say Thank You for the place and for the date.

There are no traces, just imprints in my head. that are fading. slowly.

My best friend said that depression is a feeling of loneliness – that no one is with you, no-one can understand you.

Someone has said that hell is loneliness. Being alone. Being alone without God.

A lady in the conference said that hell is hopelessness.

Thus perhaps hell is hopelessness+loneliness. Hopelessness as loneliness.

As I age, I fear of hell. I fear of being alone, misunderstood and incapable of sharing and of being understood.

Differing Realities

Differing realities the two spaces, of the two cities I am an inhabitant for now – in London and in Siauliai. There is peace and tranquility – love and care, and meaningful conversations that don’t require constant proving ‘who you are’, where you don’t need to learn the symbols, gestures and mimes of another person, because you already know them, and you are known. This is a place I call home.

And another place, where the clock never stops ticking – tick tack, tick tack. Where there is movement in every moment – a car, a passerby, a train, a plane, a bicycle, a dog, a…Where you hear – the movement, conversations, strangers, music. All artificial – barely ever natural. No wind, no bird. All coming out of people and from their toys.

An alarm at 7:00. Stretch, shower, dress, pack, brush your teeth, put your shoes on, gloves on, lock and go. Into a train, onto a platform, into a crowd. 15 minutes. Then change. Scan. Walk. Steps. Stand for 3 minutes on the platform. Another train. Get on. Sit for 35 minutes. Stand up and walk. Another 10 mins. And breath. Look around. Absorb. The day begins.

My daily routine, my daily rituals in a massive city, in a city of mass. Overwhelming, consuming, experiencing, but not processing. The brain cannot. Cannot recognize the details anymore. Those strangers on the seats nearby are faceless. It is just their coats, their hairstyles, their makeup, their shoes that I see. If I see. When I see. But most of the time it is just me. My thoughts of what is going to happen, my thoughts how slowly the train is moving, my thoughts how uncomfortably I stand, my thoughts of how dark it is outside.

“You inhabit a space and a space inhabits you”.

“I have never met anyone so different in different places like you. None of the people change as drastically as you. You adapt. Perhaps too well.”

Differing realities, differing desires.
Yesterday, while talking with a friend, I realised how typical of a migrant I am. A typical person of this era. Perhaps affected by the thoughts of the current, by prevalent interpretations of reality.

Inner Glasses and Thankfulness

Oftentimes, the way we see the outside is more of a reflection of the inside. Not always and everything, but often.

To live with love – to be loved means to love first. To choose to love not just the ones we are naturally inclined to – friends, family, beautiful, warm people but even strangers. Beggars sitting on the pavement, lonesome waiters for the tube, magazine sellers. They are all our brothers and sisters. They are all someone’s child, someone’s mum, someone’s dad, sister/brother.

What will I try to do:
– call my mum more often (min. once a week).
– write to my sister (min. once a week.)

  • give money to beggars (I am not the one to judge).
  • greet people
  • slow down (factor in the unexpectedness)
  • give thanks


  • slow morning
  • walk through the park
  • ginkgo leaves
  • Tom’s smile, Chelsea’s cheerfulness, Oliver’s great attitude
  • roller-coaster by Wellington arch
  • China reminiscence in Winter Wonderland
  • provision – food, health, possibilities
  • conversation with Winnie in her room
  • ability to see and understand
  • having a family
  • studying
  • writing
  • being in such a creative institution and having the possibility to meet all of those creative people
  • being in a supportive work environment
  • the ability to learn
  • the opportunities to be inspired
  • unusual food. variety
  • ability to learn French

I want to while being in this space to use the opportunities I have by going in depth:

  • develop and deepen friendships I have
  • get to know new people in the library
  • learn the stories of other people
  • write to Gary and to Royal Writing Fellows
  • take a photo of ginkgo leaves
  • bring my drawing pad to work and draw in slow moments
  • get to know the students
  • get a card to Allison
  • start my reaserch
  • write for nosy
  • go to exhibitions – write about them
  • draw
  • send a card to HV



A life of someone else. Disowned. A simulacrum of the real. Smiling, yet hurting. Listening but not saying.

Comfort? A constant dread? Authenticity? ‘Friends’ you can’t be real with. ‘Community’ you can’t belong to. Perhaps don’t need to.

What is a life of one’s own? Not written by narratives crafted by others (?) What does it mean to listen to your own voice? What does it mean to create your own version of the real and yet belong without offending, and without quieting your own voice?

Within the Physical

Our relationship with the physical is that it’s there but it’s never ours, it’s never to be possessed: whether it is a lover, a physical space one stands on, material goods – clothing, food items, lotions…or even our own body. It’s in flux – in movement – in a constantly changing position. Never the same.
Finance people say – ‘depreciation’. Simple people call it ageing. We don’t often see it and we definitely do not possess it/control it. A constant flux – in move.

And we ourselves are in the move. We don’t stay in bed any longer than needed (with occasional exceptions to get that extra hour of sleep, to only occasionally to be there for the other (or for ourselves)) but we move – out of bed, out of our room, out of our house into something, constantly, and repetitively, constantly and unendingly. We don’t see the time. We don’t see how it has passed, how the ageing is in place – we just move…

Only the disruption – a question, a white streak of hair, a loss, a commemoration, an incapability reminds us that it is there, we are in it. Ageing is in the process.

In the meanwhile – we own the physical and yet, it’s never ours, never belonging fully. It’s detached, around us. Only so, if we are around.


Yet, the physical constrains us. The moves we do, the moves we cannot do. The political systems of the countries we inhabit, passports we own or do not own. They dictate the possibilities and define the boundaries of our moves. These political systems dictate access to the ways we see, if we see and if we move. Education, healthcare, transportation…

and another dictator is the market, they say. What is the market? What is this ungraspable demand? Supply? The market forces – perhaps the most cited and most easily excused explanation for any and every system around. And, yet, least definable, the vaguest of all.
Is it constructed or real? A fiction, perhaps (?) Who are those faceless demanders? How are those desires crafted that all the demanders fall under?
Are the marketers at fault? Are they the evil? Are they the gods constructing the everyday. The everyday of mine and yours. Is my day founded in front of a hip youngster sitting in an East End office while drinking their flat white and playing ping pong. Under the instruction of their boss. Is it there that my reality is found. Is it there that my reality is constructed?


I live, observe and fall. Fall under the maze of desires.

Work. And spend the money to fulfil them. Spend my hours, my minutes, my energy, my nutrients, my blood, my self…To feed into the manufactured stories. To feed into the inspiration of others. To continue in the maze. Is this the way?