Chatroom Cities 

Protective shielding apparatus, maybe lightweight rigid plastic screwed together and long  outlasting the next 15 minutes, transmitting light one way, allowing easy removal with interfitted joints,  while wood or metal might absorb us,  forcing us to accept human nature and submit to the way it incriminates laughter and ecstasy, this device is amoral, mass-produced, and worthy of infinite love.

This is where my architecture began, when space was the thing I hated and need at the same time. Alone but not lonely, or just that kind of loneliness you feel in a crowd. Everyone I needed was there, somehow isolated   and entangled, though our proximities have since changed. Maybe I should never have been here to begin with, but I’m scared still that I might lose it, this classroom between classes where I became. 

Are you there? Call and response in a virtual cube and desperate projections into a void taught me  a thing or two about the weight of the thinnest walls. Code here means ADA and PNP, where the regulated distances between us come not only from IBC and the ISO, but maybe from an etymology only    possible through the easily sanitized surfaces of this temporary trailored bathroom stall. 

As the digital  love industry looks increasingly similar to social media, will the spatial vernacular of clandestiny become    obsolete or will the precariousness of online   surveillance urge new networks? Grindr’s   most recent update, an HIV Status option,   came under scrutiny when Norweigan   non-profit SINTEF discovered that Grindr   was sharing user’s HIV status information  with third-party app optimization   companies, a dangerous

flow of communication especially for users in regions where homosexuality is criminalized and police have used the app to crack down on the queer community. 

 Like any good  city there are walls and windows, roads  and cars, parks and sky scrapers. Though they are falling apart, they are lifted again by our destructive nature. We can complete them by finding that their beveled and extruded aluminum corners, or smooth pressure molded plastic, or unkempt gravelly crevices, are not so different from us. 

Don’t fear dumpsters, mall parking lots, highway rest stops, gas stations, Home Depot bathrooms, underpasses, portapotties, the last car on the subway, or the internet. In a city disciplined by the fear of love and love of fear, the debris and the margins are central. We are invisible here, so don’t worry about being seen, it will only augment your own capacity for vision.