Vol. 10: Alien

For the 10th issue of Lunch we ask you to consider the alien in all its varieties. The alien—the deviator from the normative, the invader of the condition—emerges from the spatial and linguistic practices of separation, definition and order. The alien is the product of boundaries. It upsets our relationships to systems, territories and selves. The word itself differs and multiplies—the alien is impenetrable because it is unknown. 

This issue defines the alien not as an outsider but as a gleam of chaos. It defies embodiment. To communicate with the alien means to navigate beyond. To listen is to interpret. As spatial practitioners, we coopt research and translate phenomena. We simulate and synthesize. The discomfort is in the disconnect. 

The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik recently wrote, “norms are choices that somebody else made for you.” 1 But we do not inherit evolved truths from our predecessors. We are active mediators. And we continue to demarcate limits. We select the recipients and extents of our engagement. We self-consciously, apologetically alienate others and indirectly, unwittingly normalize ourselves.

Amanda Coen
Katherine Gleysteen
Amanda Goodman