Definition: Borrowing from Kurt Vonnegut’s fictional alien race of Tralfamadorians (who can look at an object and know its past and future,) Tralfamidorification, is the experience of being over informed about the production line of materials, or about the systems of waste management they will eventually be filtered through. Tralfamidorification, is a disorientating experience where a discrete object becomes a node on a network. Those who experience tralfamidorification may walk through the world seeing a “beach towel” at one moment and then experience briefly the “beach towel” opening up into a black hole of information regarding the production line for the materials, the factory they were assembled on, the human suffering in creating these objects, the resources extracted, the shipping containers they were carried to and fro in, etcetera, — moments later the experiencer of tralfamidorification may feel the “black hole” close and they return to the present moment and the object or “beach towel” before them.
Usage: Just before reading your email I was idly staring at a package of Trader Joe’s dried coconut strips (product of Thailand) on my kitchen table, experiencing severe tralfamidorification.
Origin: Jenny Odell and Field Study #007 Participants, 2015.