Champion of Smooth Space

Unlike the stadium, with its partitioning of spectators into predetermined and fixed seating spaces, each equidistant from one another, the spectators alongside a marathon route are a seething, chaotically-distributed throng: various lengths and girths jostling for unique expanses and sightlines, and perhaps as importantly, with no singular locus of action serving to focus attention in the same fashion as one sees with a sprint held inside the stadium. It is under these conditions that Rosie Ruiz was able to locate a temporary permeability in the membrane surrounding the enclosure of the Boston Marathon.

Rosie Ruiz - Smooth Space

In contrast with striated space, which subordinates the line to the measurable points that describe its beginning and end, smooth space inverts this relationship, with the vectors of motion taking precedence over the point. In the case of Ruiz, we can imagine the circuitous route she took through the crowd lining the race course, before the liminal moment at which point she transitioned subjectivities from spectator to participant, quickly assuming the vector of the latter and eluding detection. Ruiz: perhaps not the champion of the Boston Marathon, but certainly a champion of smooth space!


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