The intimate is one of proximity and familiarity. As a relational category, intimacy is a quality of closeness, attachment, and belongingness. To be intimate with someone or some thing is to have an innermost connection. Intimacy, or intimus, designates interiority or an inward sensation, as in under one’s skin. To intimate is also to communicate with a hint, to imply subtly. This process requires a codified reception, a circle of acknowledgement and recognition. Intimacy not only designates issues pertinent to the discussion of home, sexuality, identity, the slippage between the private and public, but also relationships made out of kinship, friendship, and neighborliness.
What mobilizes an intimate attraction? What prompts someone to have such a deep connection? Can it be collectively produced? How can one locate intimacy in this time of hatred, fanaticism, and terror? Can intimacy arise out of estrangement? What role does the intimate have on the construction of belief?
Shifter’s 11th issue will attempt to re-route mechanisms of connectivity: it seeks to complicate notions of proximity, interiority, and attachment by inserting the concept of intimacy into a different economy of associations — one pertinent to the shifting language of globalization and its post-colonial realities. How can artists/theorists/designers, etc. remap a new thinking of intimacy pushing it away from a private emotional ideal frequently narrativized in consumer culture to a zone that seems capable of addressing our time of social upheaval marked by hatred, fanaticism, war, vulnerability, estrangement, and immobility?