Restlessness

Restlessness refers to a state of perpetual activity, motion, and agitation – an inability to stand still. Movement – both sensed and deduced – stirs through our world, animating it ceaselessly at the atomic, organismal, societal and environmental levels. Moreover, it seems that in no other age has mobility been so accelerated, so unrelenting, and so scrutinized.

Infrastructures are restless by nature – in the connections and transferences they generate, in the mobilizations that they bring about, and in the reverberations they effect. With the logistical turn in the postmodern era, mobility and infrastructures for its organization have become increasingly prominent features of planning, design, and execution.

From 24-hour closed-circuit television (CCTV) to responsive sonic environments, from the buzz of market exchange to urban regeneration cycles, restlessness is an essential element not only of infrastructures themselves but also of their lived experience.

But restlessness in modernity has also come to be associated with angst and diagnosed as a root for madness; ills such as “neurasthenia” and anxiety disorders are read as byproducts of the bustle of the modern era and our inability to keep pace.