How to make things appropriate without appropriating them?

Domesticity is generally associated with a human environment, a civilized space that, by conventionally distinguishing itself from nature, is frequently presented as being safe, ordered, intimate, controlled, private, predictable, etc. 

But, the modern city was nothing more than the extraordinary invention of a disparate set of places, techniques, devices built in opposition to the domestic order with the task of producing the freedom and happiness that it was not possible to generate at home.


Act 1

2:00 am

An early foggy morning in Bali. A girl comes out of the airport with a large backpack. She spots a man in front of her with a sign that says “Eve”.

Eve: Hi! My name is Eve! And you are…Ketut, right?

Ketut: Yes, I am. I’ll take you to my neighbor’s co-coliving, he asked me to meet you.

Eve: Oh, I’m so grateful!

Ketut and Eve leave the airport and walk toward the parking lot. Ketut opens the trunk of the car and gestures for Eve to put her backpack in it.

Eve: I thought of getting an Uber… but…

Ketut: …But yes, I prefer driving on my own.

Movie “Matrix”, 1999, Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

2:15 – 3:00 am

They get in the Ketut’s car which looks like a bone shaker with creaky doors and rusted scratches all over the body.

Eve: So…you prefer owning a car?

Ketut: Yes, I don’t think your “Uber” will replace privat cars forever.

Eve: Why? I believe that nowadays people are more attracted to on-demand mobility services. (1)

Ketut: Personally, I believe that car ovnership provides control, reliability and flexibility. (2)

Eve: Hm…but it provides upfront costs. Other options let us pay only for what we use and require many fewer vehicles in our cities. (3)

Ketut: I mean, yes, we can reduce number of cars if we refuse to buy it, but it limits our freedom. I would rather pay for the fuel for my own car to go to a supermarket whenever I want to.

Eve: People don’t need to own a car to comfortably move from A to B. Leasing vehicles, for instance, is one of the most prominent alternatives, offering drivers an array of general and eco-friendly benefits. (4)

Ketut: I will become a part of this “eco-friendly” only when people submit to being lectured by their fridge for eating too much cake. (5)

Eve: But some of the fridges already do that…It became part of our domesticity…

Ketut: Insane! So what, people and things are no longer need to be physically present with someone to impact them? (6)

Eve: Yes, but…

Ketut: Okay, we definitely have different points of view. Could we change the subject? Tell me a bit of your story…Bali? What is your job by the way?

Eve: I became self-employed and now I’m doing a world trip with a new cultural project related to photography. I’ve lived in Iceland, Mexico, Portugal, Australia… I’ve met so many people during past 2 years! The more I experience, the more I am! (7)

Movie “Pulp Fiction”, 1994 Director: Quentin Tarantino

Ketut shows on the backpack

Ketut: …So, you want to tell me that that is this all your staff that you are traveling with around the world?

Eve: Yes! It turned out that my life fits into 11 boxes, which I had to leave in storage.

Ketut: Insane…

Eve: The memories stored in things have suddenly lost all value, they have to make way for new experiences. (8) That’s why I’m here!

Ketut: I mean, it is great that you are that much inspired by traveling…but…Don’t you miss family, friends, home?

Eve: I believe that we are able to appropriate things without appropriating them. The same with the place where we live. The world is a new home and we must gradually appropriate it, get used to it (9) without owning it.

Ketut: Well.. now you stays at Rafi’s co-living…

Eve: Yes.

Ketut: He makes it so easy to let people live in his own house. I don’t understand him at all. I always dreamed of settling down with my wife and kids in a rural house one day. Just me and my family, you know…

Eve: …Oh, that’s nice!

Ketut: The thought of living in a different way seems unnatural or even threatening. (10)

Eve: I see… But the meaning of house has changed nowadays and…

Ketut: …Mmm?

Eve: …And I believe that houses are now only the tool which serves you for an exact moment of your life. Of course the house helps us in building intimacy, assimilating ourselves to what is close to us, loving and affirming what we touch to such an extent as to make our skin of it. (11) But only for a term. Long one or short one…

Ketut: …Oh look! We are almost there.

Movie “Moonrise Kingdom”, 2012 Director: Wes Anderson

3:00 am

Argue continues in distance as the plot transfers to the car with Ketut and Eva. The house appears behind the trees. People have gathered around the house and are watching a group of people on the roof. Everyone is arguing loudly.

Ketut: Oh my God, they are still arguing… I’ve told you, there is nothing good in sharing house.

Eve: What is going on here…

“The HBO Voyeur Project”, 2007

Act 2

8h before
7:00 pm
// garden

Lou, Rafi and Ketut are in the garden. As they see the cloudy sky they become concerned about the rainstorm. Rafi stops his gardening work and looks up to the sky.

Rafi: It looks like the weather is changing. It’s so cloudy.

Lou: Well yes, it is. But I doubt it’s going to be that bad.

Rafi: The weather here, as well as people, changes every day.

Ketut: That’s true, it is so unpredictable.

Lou calling out the Smart Home technology for information.

Lou: Hey Siri, what’s the weather like today?

Siri: It looks like there is a storm predicted for later.

Rafi: As I thought. The world is a cuisine. Due to the winds, it constantly changes its nature and shape without the past being able to really determine it. (12)

Lou: Yes, I guess, everything is changing, and so is the weather.

Rafi: (turns to Ketut) Would you mind going to the airport today? We have a new houseguest arriving.

Ketut: Oh no! Please don’t make me a part of your “co-living game”.

Rafi: I know you disagree with my concept, but I just need a favor since I have a lot of stuff to do.

9:00 PM

Otis and Hollie are talking about Christmas decoration. Hollie is decorating their cozy space with lights singing Christmas song named Yellowcard.

Hollie: “Lalala…Things are getting lit.” “Look at the lights, twinkling bright….lala…”

Otis: Sweetie, I appreciate your passion for decorating, but don’t you think that there are too many Christmas lights for now?

Hollie: Oh, honey, not yet. In the age of non-things, there is something almost utopian about the notion of possession. (13)

Otis: Well that’s true. But just wait for the electricity bill.

Hollie: Money comes and goes. The way of spending it determines how we want to live our life. My new job can pay some extra bills…

Joji runs in, drenched in the rain. Barking…

Hollie: Aaa… Ottis, do something! He’s gonna crush our Christmas tree.

Otis: But Hollie, it’s raining outside. I cannot just kick him out. Besides, you see he’s the only one who likes your decoration.

Joji is barking and fascinatingly wiggling his tail, jumping around and staring at the lights.

Otis: Animals often become attached to certain places and completely ignore others. (14)

Both Hollie and Otis continue to decorate the room with Joji circling around them.

11:00 PM // zoom call

Lou was doing chores, when his fiance Rose videocalled him. Though new technologies let you feel nearby even while being on different continents, Lou misses her a lot. They were planning a trip to Italy – discussing the cities they’d like to visit.

Rose: You know, I’ve never been to Tuscany… We could rent a car to ride across it! What do you think?

Lou: Last week you talked about going to Venice, and the week before it was Rome ha-ha.

Rose: Don’t make fun of me, I’m just want to have everything planed.

Lou: I don’t really care about the plan. I’m just happy we’ll finally spend some time together. I miss you a lot.

Rose: I miss you too, honey! I’ll try to look for an apartm…

Lou: What the hell?!

Rose: What happened?

Lou showed Rose the washing machine full of pink clothes. She started laughing

Lou: It’s not funny! How did they get colored?

Rose: It happens when you put red and white clothes together.

Lou: And what am I supposed to do?

Rose: Call me the next time you do the laundry. However, we’re going shopping nex week in Paris, and we’ll buy you some new stuff.

Lou: You know I don’t like shopping at all. I don’t need a lot of things, I call it…

Rose: Freedom in the sense of consumption. (15) I heard it million times, don’t start with it again, please…

Lou: Actually, honey, about Paris… I need to tell you something. My father… He needs some help here as a new resident is arriving today and…

Rose: I know what you are about to say. But, Lou, now we have to reschedule all the plans we made.

Lou: I know, Rose, and I’m pretty tired of this co-living stuff. But I am the only one my dad can rely on here.

Rose: And all those people who live there? Why can’t they help?

Lou: He believes that people can only rely on the family. Let’s not argue on that please..

Rose: I mean it’s just..

The connection was interrupted. Lou tried to connect to the wi-fi, but unsuccessfully.

Lou: Noooo, no no no no…wait what…Rose…? Can you hear me?

12:30 AM

It started raining very heavily outside.

Quick steps on the stairs. Otis bursts into Lou’s room.

Ottis: Lou, come on!

Lou: What is that noise??

Ottis: Come downstairs! Hurry up, buddy!

They run down the stairs and see a chaos. Rafi is trying to close the windows, but the wind is so strong that it’s almost impossible to defy alone… Lou rushes to help his father. Some of the windows were already crushed, so the rain is gushing into the living room. Everybody is trying to save as many things as they can.

Hollie: Lou, I saved your laptop!

Lou: Thanks! We need something to cover the broken windows.

Hollie: Ottis, go get some foil from my studio, you know where to find it.

Otis runs to the studio outside and 10 minutes later…

Movie “Titanic”, 1997 Director: James Cameron

Act 3


1:00 AM

The roof collapses because of the strong wind. Hollie is screaming upstairs.

Hollie: Aaaaaa! Ottis, come quickly! The roof has crashed! Water is gushing into the house!

Siri turns the alarm mode on.

Siri: Breach! Breach! Breach! Everybody, concentrate, the problem must be solved. Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. (16) We must un_)sd!_@fda$w_ /….

Otis is trying to reach the first floor while the water runs down the stairs. Everyone rushes around the house in panic, the turmoil is caused.

Rafi: Slow down guys, the house isn’t on fire… Nature never rushes, yet everything gets done. (17) There is peace even in the storm. (18)

Ottis: Yes, nature gets everything done, and it will also flood the whole house if we don’t plug the hole immediately! Quickly, go to Ketut’s and ask him to borrow some planks and tarp. You know that he’s some kind of collector…

Lou: Dad, wait! The wind has torn the internet cable! Help me out with this first.

Rafi: Oh Lou, for God’s sake. Can you see that we have a bigger problem? Act like a grown man for once!

Lou: But dad, Rosie must be worried, we haven’t finished our conversation!

Rafi: Let it go for now. Come, I will need help with carrying the planks. We all should rise above the clouds of ignorance, narrowness, and selfishness. (19)

Lou: I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea. (20) I will find it myself.

Lou goes to the barn, annoyed. Rafi rolls his eyes and heads towards Ketut’s house. In the meantime, Otis and Hollie are arguing on the first floor.

Hollie: Oh my God, Otis! You cannot use my suitcase instead of a bucket to collect the water! Oh, and my dresses!? I cannot believe you’re using them as a cloth!

Ottis: (spectates in confusion) But Hollie, since when do you connect with your things? Aren’t the only things in your possession vessels field with emotions and recollection? (21)

Hollie: Stop it! Don’t you know how much I love my clothes? Possession is characterized by intimacy and inwardness. For a thing to be a possession, I must have an intense relationship with it (22), and I do love my dresses.

Ottis: (through the laugh) Does that necessarily mean that you possess me as well?

Hollie: (rolling her eyes) Come on Otis, shut up and go get the buckets and rags.

2:00 AM

Rafi’s slamming on the Ketut’s door, nervous and soaking wet

Rafi: Ketut, are you there? Open up!

Ketut: Slow down man, I’m coming! (Ketut opens the front door and stares at Rafi in confusion). Woah, what happened to you? You look like you’ve been under the hurricane.

Rafi: (ironically) Ha-ha Ketut, very funny. Our roof was breached. I came to ask for some planks and tarpaulin to patch up the hole. And please, I don’t wanna hear “I told you”.

Ketut: Oh friend, but I did tell you. You had argued with me about my weird habit to collect stuff and now here you are, on my doorstep, begging for them.

Rafi: Come on man, I’m not in the mood for your lectures. However, Nothing is yours. It is to use. It is to share. If you will not share it, you cannot use it. (23)

Ketut: Relax Rafi, of course I will help you. One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone. (24) Wait for me in the garage, I’m gonna grab my raincoat.

Ketut and Rafi take the planks and the tarpaulin and rush toward Rafi’s house as quickly as possible to cover the hole

Rafi: Oh Ketut, go and pick up the new guest from the airport? In all of this chaos, we almost totally forgot about her.

Ketut: On my way!

Ketut takes the car keys from Rafi, gets in the car and drives away

3:00 AM

Movie “The Royal Tenenbaums”, 2001 Director: Wes Anderson

The storm has calmed down and they have just finished covering the hole. All of them, exhausted, gather around the hole to discuss the further steps

Lou: Woah, this was a tough evening. So many things in the house are destroyed…

Rafi: (with his head in his hands) Additional expenses I wasn’t prepared for. Now we need to see who can contribute how much.

Hollie: How do you mean to contribute? Financially?! You see, it’s enough that we’re paying the rent…

Ottis: (whispering) Yes, but darling, we are a community, they need our help, maybe if we could just…

Hollie: (cuts off Otis and starts yelling) There’s no “but”! This is not our property, why would we spend our money on it? The main reason we don’t want to own anything is so we can avoid unnecessary expenses, right? And what are we going to do with our stuff that’s destroyed?!

Rafi: Oh, don’t tell me that now you expect me to pay you for your dresses?!

Ottis: Darling, take it easy… We’ll manage everything.

Hollie: (waving her hands) Don’t you tell me what to do! I didn’t come here to…

The sound fades out. Argue continues in distance as the plot transfers to the car with Ketut and Eva. The house appears behind the trees. People have gathered around the house and are watching a group of people on the roof. Everyone is arguing loudly.

Ketut: Oh my God, they are still arguing… I’ve told you, there is nothing good in sharing house

Eve: What is going on here…

To be continued…


(1) Joanna Moody, Elizabeth Farr, Marisa Papagelis & David R. Keith – The value of car ownership and use in the United States.
(2) Joanna Moody, Elizabeth Farr, Marisa Papagelis & David R. Keith – The value of car ownership and use in the United States.
(3) Joanna Moody, Elizabeth Farr, Marisa Papagelis & David R. Keith – The value of car ownership and use in the United States.
(4) Private Car Ownership is on the Decline – is Leasing Taking Over?
(5) Houses of tomorrow: A more hopeful vision of domesticity, or a dystopian nightmare?
(6) Sophia Waterfield – Smart home devices can be used in domestic abuse, researcher warns.
(7) Byung-Chul Han – Non-things: Upheaval in the Lifeworld.
(8) Byung-Chul Han – Non-things: Upheaval in the Lifeworld.
(9) Emanuele Coccia – Filosofia della casa
(10) William Hart & S.N Goenka – The Art Of Living
(11) Emanuele Coccia – Filosofia della casa
(12) Emanuele Coccia – Filosofia della casa
(13) Byung-Chul Han – Non-things: Upheaval in the Lifeworld.
(14) Vinciane Despret – Living as a bird.
(15) Byung-Chul Han – Non-things: Upheaval in the Lifeworld.
(16) Quote by Andrew Carnegie
(17) Donald L. Hicks – Look into the stillness
(18) Vincent van Gogh – The Letters of Vincent van Gogh
(19) Booker T. Washington – The Story of My Life and Work
(20) Fyodor Dostoevsky – Notes from Underground
(21) Byung-Chul Han – Non-things: Upheaval in the Lifeworld.
(22) Byung-Chul Han – Non-things: Upheaval in the Lifeworld.
(23) Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #6))
(24) Shannon L. Alder