Proximities (thinking about different kinds of proximity)

NOTES ON … PROXIMITIES …. Been spending a lot of thinking time with the word PROXIMITY. Realizing in the process that I should probably be using the word PROXIMITIES instead of just PROXIMITY to begin to get to all the different types of proximities that we feel.

In which ways do we “feel close” ?

Physical Proximity (to birthplace, to family, to Nationstate, to neighbors, to home, to a lover) creates relationships of physical, sustained connections that can be experienced through the physical body in unique ways. Within the idea of physical proximity we can also think about the myriad ways in which physical touch or nearness to touch, especially in the context of taboo or certain kinds of body contact (sexual, sensual, curative, medical, to name a few) create their own unique relationship

Digital and Virtual Proximity (to each other through the technological medium) This can give the sense that we are physically close to each other because we experience each other through digital mediums–this could be through consistency of contact to another persons’ words, comments, mimes, gifs, personal messages, photographs and videos. It can also be experienced through an avatar or through the simulation of physical contact to an avatar or video chat.

Emotional Proximity (what I think of as the aliveness of a person) This is the emotional response that a person produces for us, the extent to which they are alive to us, that a person or thing matters to us. The feeling that something matters to us not based necessarily on physical or digital proximities but simply to the way in which thinking about that person makes us feel or how often we think about a person. It is also not dependent on whether or not the person is alive, as we often still “feel close” to a person who has passed.

Identity-based Proximity I would term these to mean solidarities that are formed with other people of a similar ethnicity, a common diaspora, a gender, a sexual orientation, a formation and feeling that we are close to other people who exhibit the same kind of identity that we ascribe to our physical bodies, movements that are mobilized based on what we see as our common identities and often common struggles and ideals.

Political Proximity This is the sense of being close in our political beliefs, our imagined futures, our common ideals and values, not necessarily based on our own personal identities but our allie-ships, our desire to be in solidarity with others. Coalitions that are formed and experienced as close and mobilized in our imaginations of what we can be.

Sensed or Energetic Proximity A sense of nearness or closeness that doesnt feel exactly emotional but is sensed through our energetic fields. This could be emotional and could turn out to be physical. Other kinds of proximities could be involved. But at their root they seem to emerge from a sensory place that cannot be described as either physical or emotional.

What are some others? How else can we term these?

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