Uncertain Trajectories
Thomas Essex-Plath

The Site — is a heterogeneous collective – an assembly of ‘features’, measurements, measurers, inscriptions (titles, regulations, records), climate, acclimatized bodies, markets, financiers, fencing, offending, vegetation, precipitation, and innumerable others. This thing is never perfectly unified nor complete, though it maintains a kind of cohesion, a contingent stability, and provisional circumscription. These characteristics are not the operation of pervasive law, but merely the ceaseless work of re/connection amongst the actors composing it. Diverse and divergent actors are cohered, by this labour, into an object to be worked with and on by domesticity. These apparatuses for binding, cohering, circumscribing, and stabilising perhaps find their apotheosis in suburbia, where fields of notably stable versions of these objects co-produce one-another.

As mechanisms for cohering and bounding the sited home face destabilisation, possibilities are established for more radical extension, reconfiguration, and reorientation. These shake ossified regimes of ordering, such as the ‘complete’, ‘finished’ status of the suburban house-product, its commodification, and the production of investor- selves. This object’s hegemony makes even minor acts and banal actors radical. These vectors, however, are inevitably ad hoc, and certainly unpredictable.

This site is not an aggregate of idiosyncrasies but, rather, very much a site – through which the general and generic circulates. On the basis of this, the house articulates peculiarities endemic to this condition. Yet, as domesticity colonises it, lines of flight proliferate. These emerge from slippages or outgrowths in the order of things, unanticipated adjacencies, intrusions of foreign modes of assembling, unexpected, isolating corrugations emerging from the logic of bounding planes, divergences from ideals of flatness, and disruptions in and by the ‘vacancy’ of a surface.
This Home — to stake out an operative position within suburbia, is firmly of suburbia. However, the domesticity that is shared and reproduced across suburban landscapes has no essence or inalienable qualities. Entangled and shifting practices of acquisition, disposal, maintenance, organisation, aestheticization, care, storage, and others assemble the home. Yet, any stabilisation is contingent - a site of ongoing contestation and renegotiation as diverse actors struggle to redefine it. The contingency of association between activities, between architectural elements, and between element and activity is extolled and introduced by the entry to this home.

Attempts to circumscribe and cohere the home are always partial – it forever exceeds these occasions, as new agents intrude and others unfold further. Domesticity is not a rigid system but, rather, a process of juggled associations. It houses disequilibria that elicit new associations and a constant flow of content. Accompanying this is the capacity, even tendency, for overspill – the accretion of content, laden with significance or latent potential, that resists disposal, yet slips from other rhythms of activity. These typically find home in spaces on the periphery. The ‘out-of-sight’ and unintegrated status of these surplus spaces lends them a certain licence to accommodate messier, less predictable, less congruent, less organised, and more ad hoc events & assemblies of content. At this home, these conditions are brought to the centre, on the suggestion of their potentially productive directions for domesticity.

Just as the colliding agencies in the suburban landscape produce, in their compromise, left-overs and something un-integrated into the rest of the assumed whole, so too do edges emerge. These are those parts of the house where the promiscuousness of the connections and collisions between particularly recalcitrant agents are manifest. This home attempts to articulate some of these manifest adjacencies and incongruencies, and, in turn, the multiplicity of this assemblage.