Foucault’s Heterotopia

16Sep11

In a still more concrete manner, the problem of siting or placement arises for mankind in terms of demography. This problem of the human site or living space is not simply that of knowing whether there will be enough space for men in the world -a problem that is certainly quite important – but also that of knowing what relations of propinquity, what type of storage, circulation, marking, and classification of human elements should be adopted in a given situation in order to achieve a given end. Our epoch is one in which space takes for us the form of relations among sites.

In any case I believe that the anxiety of our era has to do fundamentally with space, no doubt a great deal more than with time. Time probably appears to us only as one of the various distributive operations that are possible for the elements that are spread out in space,

Now, despite all the techniques for appropriating space, despite the whole network of knowledge that enables us to delimit or to formalize it, contemporary space is perhaps still not entirely desanctified (apparently unlike time, it would seem, which was detached from the sacred in the nineteenth century). To be sure a certain theoretical desanctification of space (the one signaled by Galileo’s work) has occurred, but we may still not have reached the point of a practical desanctification of space. And perhaps our life is still governed by a certain number of oppositions that remain inviolable, that our institutions and practices have not yet dared to break down. These are oppositions that we regard as simple givens: for example between private space and public space, between family space and social space, between cultural space and useful space, between the space of leisure and that of work. All these are still nurtured by the hidden presence of the sacred.

http://foucault.info/documents/heteroTopia/foucault.heteroTopia.en.html
Michel Foucault. Of Other Spaces (1967), Heterotopias.
This text, entitled “Des Espace Autres,” and published by the French journal Architecture /Mouvement/ Continuité in October, 1984, was the basis of a lecture given by Michel Foucault in March 1967.

This has made me think about how other artists have been using space. How I might approach space when recreating my brothers flat virtually why there are rules about spaces what would happen if I changed his apartment. Or in the style of Sophie Calle what would happen if I examined his apartment. Where is the boundary for that kind of examination. What would happen if I changed it. Who’s apartment is it if I made it in virtual space. What are the rules for getting to know the space of someone else in a virtual world. I also understand the idea of an artist taking or removing objects a little more. I am wondering what would happen if I isolated my avatar self. Giving it only a computer as activity stopping it leaving a room virtually.

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