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Smiley simulacrum: gouges in the street February 13, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Simulacra, Smiley.
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Gouges in the street, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 2011.

This smiley simulacrum looks intentional, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t — as far as I can tell, this is a complete accident. Gouges in the asphalt like this were quite common in the streets of our old neighborhood in Abu Dhabi. Sometimes they were from wheel rims as cars with flat tires navigated into parking spots; other times they were boat trailers that had slipped off hitches or construction equipment that crashed to the street from the latest apartment construction site. In this case, the “eyes” of the smiley (which I suspect were from two separate occasions of a trailer hitch slipping) were already there when we moved in, but the “smile” turned up later, perhaps from a kid stopping a makeshift skateboard or perhaps from a dodgy wheel on a rubbish cart one of the street cleaners was wheeling through the street. Whatever the case, the smiley (I’m fairly certain) happened by happy accident. Which is the best kind of accident!

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