Motion can be deceptive in the sense that an object may appear to be moving when it is in fact not moving at all. It depends entirely on one’s individual perspective.
When I commute to work everyday I will often take the #147 CTA bus in to downtown. For those of you who are not Chicagoans, this bus travels from the northernmost reaches of the city (my neighborhood: Rogers Park) to the loop and back again via Lake Shore Drive. When peering out of the bus window as we travel over the potholed road to downtown I see the trees in the median zooming past, their branches nearly brushing the window. Further out, I see people in the parks and on the beaches leisurely pass by as the bus continues to barrel down the drive. Out on the rippling waters of Lake Michigan, I see boats slowly slip by as they bob up and down.
My perspective here is a bit funny in the sense that it may seem backward or incomprehensible. Why is it that the objects that are completely stationary, the trees, appear to be moving extremely fast whereas the objects that are moving faster than everything else in my view, the boats, appears to be moving much slower? You may say the answer is obvious. You are simply in a moving car and you perceive objects at various distances away from the bus. Because of this the closer objects appear to be whipping past while the objects further away move across your view at a much slower rate. This is a phenomenon known as parallax.
What if you did not understand this context? What sort of conclusions or decisions might you reach due to a lack of contextual understanding? This question is particularly poignant when considering all the
issues and problems facing us humans locally, nationally, and internationally everyday. On my way home from work in the evening, while reflecting on the day’s activities and catching up on the news I would often consider the question of contextual understanding. Can any real progress be made without taking time to understand context?
Instrumentation: 2(II=fl/picc).2.2(II=bcl).2 / 22.214.171.124 / tmp.2perc.2hp / strings
Percussion 1: Bass drum, 2 Brake drums (high & low), Suspended cymbal, Tambourine
Percussion 2: Bongos, Hi-hat, Floor tom, 2 Toms (high & low)
Duration: 10 minutes