Galapagoose's “The Searchers”

Trent Gill

Galapagoose

I'm told there is no greater freedom than coming home from a long hard day at work, unlocking your front door, and escaping to your little kingdom of order. Such is the rule, the dream, the inevitable catharsis of hard work and signifier of true success. To know that wall is yours to paint a different muted shade of beige, hang your hundreds of family pictures upon or simply tear into non-existence. Homelessness is then the ultimate imprisonment. Trapped in the public world with no mode of escape in unpunctuated repetition. Without property we are to live on borrowed goods; to live in shared spaces where change is detriment: avoid at all cost. A constant revolution of unsung praise however, lies bubbling beneath the still black surface of the landlord.

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The serfs in our modern world of feudalistic servitude are known to most as the humble renter. Working the lord's land to the bone, sewing ever more rows of denser crops as buildings stretch higher to the heavens. Micro-pastures of herb gardens give way to alfresco dining and split-level granny flats, all in the name of maximum efficiency. Rent: The perennial cash crop of our inner city hyperfertile land. In our currently described arrangement it is not the crops that are rotated, but the serfage. Still bound to the lord's ever heightening demands on production, the renter is free to leave of her own accord to tend the wishes of another. In the lessor's mind it is the crop that is most important, all else receding to subservience in the face of higher returns.

In spite of the credit crunch, boom-and-bust speculative expositions of our glass-towered sovereigns, there exists an unexpected lucidity in the impudent renter. Not all decisions are driven by the clinical necessity of one's financial situation but rather follow the evolving priorities of the fiscal individual. Living through the radiating glow of the computer screen, day-to-day life is shifting focus away from the corporeal into metaphysical phantom bodies. The fluidity of the online world has fostered expectations of overwhelming spontaneity and the accessibility of such a virtual life has drawn focus away from one's physical location. The endless subdivision of geographic spaces is now trumped by the open fields of digitalism. This devolution of historic essentials ironically paving a path to constant reinterpretations of past epochs. Appropriation culture in its true form rearing up to provide rhyme and reason to this generation of no-hope rent-for-lifers.

Yet there is an immediacy to the rental game; a freedom to redirect; an aloofness of ideal; a constant practical search. The renter follows their needs and desires down long and ever changing paths, while the homeowner is locked away with ties to the bank and their little plot of freedom. In this way one can see the impermanence of address as a sort of regularly enforced self-reflection, weighing one's needs against their means. We may simply be tilling the soil of our super-rich lords, but has money ever meant less than in this moment? This world's population grows endlessly, weighing cities down with ever-sprawling urbanism, unfolding its layers of gentrified sterility, but the renters, the searchers, will always gravitate to that resonant lot. Following on this vibration to idyllium, perhaps avoiding the grand narrative, the societal pressures, instead plotting an individual course of ever growing intensities.

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