Having to operate and hold a smartphone became too much of a burden. It occupied our hands, brought about odd gestures of operation. Figure eights to calibrate, swipes to advance, pinches to enlarge. An exorcistic vocabulary familiar only to fellow tech mimes. With time the smartphone’s functions were split up, sliced and freshly injected into alternatives. A nail tracking key input, an anklet GPS, eyelids for scrolling. Hands free. This way, any body part with the ergonomic capability to home an object became colonised. We cleansed ourselves of accessories and enhanced the flesh. Rub on sensors and tracking creams. Networked pills and RFID joints. It was liberating, we started to breathe deeper. In the name of practicality, usability and general soothing of life’s strenuous activities, smart parts rather than dumb limbs.
That summer, we spent all our days embraced by liquid and running along its periphery. The beach, we would apply track cream to each others backs ritualistically, first thing we got there. The GPS infused sunscreen added enhanced meaning to “sun protection”. The tracking sensor grains acting like exfoliants on our skin. SPFactor 50+ had extra far signal reach and strong ray protection, it needn’t be reapplied as often during the day. It let us roam free and find each other simultaneously. Such peace of mind, knowing where your loved ones are. Right there next to you 10km away. We really deeply cared for each other, took time to cover every spot of skin, tilting heads for improved perspective, and then ran.
Nostalgic memories of mini Pelican cases shielding our electronic gadgets from natural forces. Now we dance in the summer rain, arms out like antennas, spinning in circles, breathing air loaded with internet.
Each day we couldn’t apply it early enough. The rush of feeling proximity, rousing. Half asleep on autopilot, we were performing the circular motions from scratch disk. Careful to avoid getting it on the sheets. It did happen one time, our proximity feeling a constant longing all day. It made us return to the bedroom looking for each other like a loop one function only to find the quarters empty over and over. It took exhaustion to understand that we kept on returning to merely a streak of track cream on the huddled sheets. No body.
The pulsing indication we used to mark locations with on displays. That is how our bodies felt. Glowing with location, pulsing for community, sweaty with purpose. We used to share our whereabouts, now we feel it forever ever, our closest friends and family like acupuncture needles in our bodies.
The proximity feeling, addictive, lucid, our drug. It was like the hot and cold game for finding hidden objects. We wouldn’t know where we were in relation to each other but we knew we were there. With distance it mellowed, with proximity it swelled. We couldn’t get enough. Ran, dripping sweat, experiencing the rush of being close over and over. Intoxicated with belonging and safety, that was us, summer of 2kSoon.
That summer we felt like Sweat Machines.