Ryan Griffis recently sent around a link to an article on ctheory. Browsing the links there, I came across this 2005 interview with Christina McPhee. I like her use of “slipstreaming.”
Christina McPhee: Thinking about the poetics implied by “between your body and ‘the machine'”: — one wonders if ‘machines’ could be imagined as distributive trace presences within a psychic architecture, even a voice-space, built from a breath inside the screen. Let’s visualize a model of this breathing architecture; how can we imagine it as neither machine body nor human body, or maybe both, so that the space is as much a transitive verb as a nameable location. Here’s where the visualization of ‘slipstream’ becomes especially useful: apart from programming slang, the word also has an older meaning in aerodynamics. Slipstream denotes the area of negative pressure or suction that follows a very fast moving object, like an airplane propeller. Or, when you’re in a small sports car on the freeway, you can ‘slipstream’ behind a large truck, which allows your small vehicle to be sucked into the slipstream of the larger vehicle — at risk to your life. “Slipstream” can be a metonym, standing in for a complex set of associations, including machine repair, hallucination ( as in, a ‘fix’ ), sublimation of identity (forward suction into something ahead of you), minimal resistance, and air, wind or breath (intake, inhalation, suction).