Itch Issue 15: Hiatus CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR ISSUE 15 Deadline for submissions: Friday 31 July 2015
Hiatus, n. 1. A break or opening in a material structure 2. A gap or interruption in events 
“To be honest, these Eskom load sheds are kind of helpful. I’ve become so productive during the blackouts.” – overheard in Johannesburg.
What is the essence of waiting? What is the nature of continuity? In our over-connected lives, the idea of continuity has become paramount. We expect our phone signal to stay up, and our internet connection to keep going. This is why internet companies and network operators promise, above all else, to deliver a service that is unbroken. We also expect the food in our supermarkets to remain fresh, which is why grocery companies are so concerned with the “cold chain”, a continuous network of refrigeration that ensures food is kept fresh and untainted.
But what are the ramifications of this lifestyle without pause, without a break for reflection or even a contemplation of the vulnerability of our technological and person existence. If it gave us a moment to think, would a break be such a bad thing after all?
What does the idea of a hiatus conjure, likewise a pause in the continuity of things either natural or man-made? The hiatus can cause unrest, such as the power vacuum between leaders. It can also cause comfort, such as the remission of a disease or relief from pain. Or perhaps a hiatus can take the form of a rupture, something that breaks the fabric of physical and emotional space.
Let us know what the concept of a hiatus means to you. I look forward to your interpretation in the broadest and most discontinuous way possible…