The interference.

This is a real hotel servant. I asked her to come clean the room while we were still in there, doing whatever it is that we would be doing even when she wasn’t there and ask her to clean as if WE weren’t there.

I wanted to juxtapose class. Usually the hotel servant and the guests will not interact directly and the two parties from different worlds don’t co-exist in the same time. The servants “cleans” under the radar and consciousness. They share space, but not time. In here, they share both.In this photo, I try to bring them together as they violently rupture each others’ comfort zones in a serene, quiet, and smooth way that smooth out the master/slave, public/private relationships. This more or less a follow up to my post about hotel servants and services.

Have you ever stayed at a 5 star hotel for more than one night?


It’s amazing to me to see how the room servants clean your room. If you only stay for one night, then it’s a pretty easy and clear-cut job – clean and restore everything to the way the room was before anybody checked it in for a blank slate.

But if you are a servant dealing with guests who stay for more than a couple of nights, then it really takes skills and creativity and reason to organize/clean/re-arrange the room.  You can’t clean out everything so when the guest returns he thinks he either walked into the wrong room or that the hotel built him a brand new room while he was gone to replace his old one.  He would get pissed off and never check in again.

So the question is: How do you connect the existential fabric between THIS moment and THAT by completing this seemingly trivial and mindless stream-of-chores without moving too much things around or to overly tidy them that it ruins too much of the mood, personality, desires, dreams, intentionality, and the state/stream of consciousness (and unconsciousness) of the guest? How can you retain the way those elements played a row in how he felt and thought when he interacted with the objects and space, both materiality and metaphysically to create his own unique experience and cognition in that room during that particular time of his life? And how can you motivate or even to enlighten him while avoid making him feel, both physically and psychologically isolated, fragmented, and alienated in a foreign land?

I left a moderately bad mess when I left the room this morning to test out how good my servant would be, and how well he knows me just by the space I had created in that time frame.

 I was impressed. Whoever the servant was, she did a good job of recognizing what was useless and belonged to the trashcan, what should be kept but needed re-organizing, what required cleaning, washing, and etc to confirm, establish, define, or even upgrade my being of existence?

 I moved the furniture around to suit my needs this afternoon, but she kept it the way I wanted them to be, but slightly re-adjusted them so that look more organized and spacey without ruining my original intentions and even reduced the possibility of me tripping over things. I thought, she must have majored in interior design or architecture in college.

She threw away my mate’s tooth brush, but kept mine and placed it at a 45 degree angle because she probably saw me with my tank top when I walked out of the room this morning, and figured that my over-developed deltoids would appreciate the mobility that this slight twist would create. I thought that was especially a good touch. She knows her anatomy.

She tossed out the dirty tissue papers and my bad sketches, but kept the really good ones. She threw away the 1/4 eaten apple that was half rotten, but kept the 3/4 eaten orange that was still fresh. She had talent as an art critic and probably has a master’s degree in nutrition.

She hung our unworn wardrobes in the closet, folded the semi dirty jeans and placed them on top of our luggage, and piled up the dirty underwear with poo poo stains near the door to remind us the take them to the laundry. Despite her high intelligence, she can be your classic maid/servant if the situation calls for it.

She added another shot to my half drank vodka lime, put a new condom next to my bed, and replaced my 5 inch thick Art History Book with a stack of porn probably because she saw how my room was arranged, what I was bookmarking, which frame I left on the TV, how I squeezed my shampoo bottle, and the shape in which I splattered my piss, and figured out that I would probably be tired, but slightly aroused sexually when I return late tonight. She is a psychologist, or at least an excellent mind reader.

Finally, when I was looking for my backpack that was originally left in the kitchen sink, she thoughtfully took it out of there and neatly placed it on my bed. And when I opened it, not only are the stuff in there tightened up, I found my long lost plastic alligator that I had been looking for, for the last 15 years… And that led me to conclude :  she is a prophet and might even be a time traveler.

 Mind = Blown

The meaning is for our guest and costumer to feel as an INDIVIDUAL that retains individuality…or to at least to keep, remain, and hold together pieces of his self organically so he can feel whole, and not be fragmented and chopped into pieces in an unfamiliar territory throughout his stay in this hotel room – to experience “homeliness” without being home. Our individual guest has to be able to identify foreign spaces around him so he can retain the subjectivity in whatever objectivity and inauthenticicty a room that looks and feels almost the same everywhere in modernity might bring upon.

But again, this is tricky to achieve because when a person goes out on a trip for whatever reason, he is most likely to want feel a sense of belonging, yet at the same time, paradoxically desire for new experiences and emotions in the new space he inhabit. In other words, he wants to feel the familiar in the unfamiliar, so that he can find himself by throwing away the pieces that makes him up and, hopefully, with the hope glueing them back together in new configurations and formations.

If the self is consisted and made up of bundles of experiences; if one’s history is found on the surfaces of the objects around him and how they are structured and re-structured over and over; if our Traveler goes on this trip in order to not forget the past completely so it comes back to avenge itself, but to open up new potentialities in the open whole of the future for the hope of renewing and re-finding himself…then it is up to the hotel servant – an unlikely savior who, through the seemingly mindless and insignificant routines and actions, to do the task of recreating a man for self realization.

Although, and perhaps because of our lack of awareness upon her will and actions, she is most optimum in serving as an organizing and shit-cleaning force of an unconscious that needs consistent reminders and whispers and taming without our consciousness becoming so aware of them so as to reject them as a result.

To put it another way, our servant is then a sort of an existential nanny. And by “matching up” her stream-of-chore with his stream-of-consciousness, she hopes she can improve upon it, nurture it, and alter it for enlightenment and growth by “clean up” and reset the person’s messy mind states and get rid of whatever angst and absurdity a man might feel in his environment by creating just enough, and the right kind of disorderly stress so he can adapt and evolve.

And again, she does this with the physical traces and imprints that the traveler, the man, the guest, and the individual left in the room, and through the reshuffling of perhaps even trashing parts of the neutrality of ‘objectivity’ in those physical objects, and re-project onto them interiority and life, so the Self can use whatever little experiences that were brought upon him in this brief “pause” of his life and use it to project and emigrate outward with a new “oomph!” – One that is just as new, but yet just familiar as the new kind soap the servant neatly placed in where he might need it the most tonight.

The Follow Up:

finally checked out my hotel room. learned a lot. And i forgot to mention that each night, then servant adjusted the space and the shape of the disorder according to the progression of my needs and desires and the direction of my migrating soul. And I, in turn, use her arrangements to structure my consciousness. So a dialogue had been created – a feedback loop between us that even though we never interacted with each other face to face, impacted my life more so than anybody I’ve come into contact with. This type of self realization is what a vacation is all about.