The Overlooked
Sep 17 2012

This is an extraordinary set of urban installations by Mark Jenkins. A few of them took place in DC, marking the most overlooked artifacts. I am always inspired by this kind of surprise that transforms what is taken for granted into what is revealing.

I was joking with my friends that I can bike to work these days with my eyes closed (yes, joking) because I’ve become so familiar with the ride. The lights at the intersection of 6th and R always remain red on both sides as the cars from Rhode Island turn left onto 6th. This 4-second lag would allow someone to run the light to the middle of Rhode Island and catch the green on 7th when there are 12 seconds left.

I chuckle at this sort of knowledge because it is so mundane. Yet it is telling how quickly the city can take up a certain appearance and life, a certain pattern. There is a danger in falling for the comfortable, the routine, and losing curiosity of an actually unknown world.

Such thought was furthered by a walk of the Dupont Underground. Thanks to Provision Library and Goethe Institute for creating the experience and intellectual conversations. Wandering in a giant concrete infrastructure with decade-old air is such a contrast to my daily experiences of the city.

It’s good, like this, to be silent and humble.