The Everyday Intersection

The everyday is situated at the intersection of two modes of repetition: the cyclical, which dominates in nature, and the linear, which dominates in processes known as ‘rational’. The everyday implies on the one hand cycles, nights and days, seasons and harvests, activity and rest, hunger and satisfaction, desire and fulfillment, life and death, and it implies on the other hand the repetitive gestures of work and consumption.

In modern life the repetitive gestures tend to mask and to crush the cycles. The everyday imposes its monotony. It is the invariable constant of the variations it envelops. The days follow one another and resemble one another, and yet — and here lies the contradiction at the heart of everydayness — everything changes. But the change is programmed: obsolescence is planned. Production anticipates reproduction; production produces change in such a way as to superimpose the impression of speed on that of monotony. Some people cry out against the acceleration of time, others cry out against stagnation. They are both right.

— Henri Lefebvre, “The Everyday and Everydayness”

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