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- Q U O T A T I O N S -


The Poetics of Space - Gaston Bachelard

“In the theater of the past that is constituted by memory, the stage setting maintains the characters in their dominant roles. At times we think we know ourselves in time, when all we know is a sequence of fixations in the spaces of the being's stability--a being who does not want to melt away, and who, even in the past, when he sets out in search of things past, wants time to "suspend" its flight. In its countless alveoli space contains compressed time. That is what space is for. P8

“[Memory] does not record concrete duration, in the Bergsonian sense of the word. We are unable to relive duration that has been destroyed. We can only think of it, in the line of an abstract time that is deprived of all thickness. The finest specimens of fossilized duration concretized as a result of [a] long sojourn, are to be found in and through space. P9

“All we communicate to others is an orientation towards what is secret without ever being able to tell the secret objectively. What is secret never has total objectivity. In this respect, we orient oneirism but we do not accomplish it. P13


Liquid Architectures in Cyberspace - Marcos Novak

Objective reality itself seems to be a construct of our mind, and thus becomes subjective. The “reality” that remains seems to be the reality of fiction. This is the reality of what can be expressed, of how meaning emerges. The trajectory of thought seems to be from concrete to abstract to concrete again, but the new concreteness is not that of Truth, but of embodied fiction. The difference between embodied fiction and Truth is that we are the authors of fiction. Fiction is there to serve our purposes, serious or playful, and to the extent that our purposes change as we change, its embodiment also changes. Thus, while we reassert the body, we grant it the freedom to change at a whim, to become liquid.” p. 275


Discipline and Punishment - Michael Foucault

“The Panopticon must be understood as a generalizable model of functioning; a way of defining power relations in terms of the everyday life of men. No doubt Bentham presents it as a particular institution, closed in upon itself. Utopias, perfectly closed in upon themselves, are common enough … it is the diagram of a mechanism of power reduced to its ideal form … It is a type of location of bodies in space, of distribution of individuals in relation to one another, of hierarchical organization, of disposition of centres and channels of power”


The Mirror Stage - Lacan

“The fact is that the total form of the body by which the subject anticipates in a mirage the maturation of his power is given to him only as Gestalt, that is to say, in an exteriority in which this form is certainly more constituent than constituted” An Ideal-I that “will always remain irreducible for the individual alone, or rather, which will only rejoin the coming-into-being of the subject asymptotically”, as an invisible boundary on the edge of experience. “The mirror-image would seem to be the threshold of the visible world” presented “in hallucinations or dreams”. Lacan concludes “These reflections lead me to recognize in the spatial captation manifested in the mirror-stage, even before the social dialectic, the effect in man of an organic insufficiency in his natural reality - in so far as any meaning can be given to the word ‘nature’”


Lived Spatiality - Elizabeth Grosz Hysteria (e.g., in anorexia), the phantom limb, hypochondria, and indeed, sexuality itself, testify to the pliability of fluidity of what is usually considered the inter, fixed, passive, biological body. If it exists at all (and it is no longer clear to me that it does), the biological body exists for the subject only through the mediation of a series of images or representations of the body and its capacities for movement and action.


Oversight: The Ordering of Slavery - Nicholas Mirzoeff

As a technique of governance, visualized domination was both represented by and encapsulated in the emergent technology of mapping. As recent histories of cartography have made clear, the map was practically “nonexistent” in Europe at the start of the fifteenth century, but was “the bedrock of most professions and disciplines” two centuries later … several key factors can be identified in the formation of the map, bringing together the new modalities of realism in NOrthern European art, and the rediscovery of perspective, with the development of technique for plotting land to make surveys of state and private property, and the consolidation of the nation-state apparatus.” p. 58 “Like other media, the map extends the human sensorium beyond its physical capacities and integrates itself with it as “a technical prosthesis that extends and refines the field of sensorial production, or rather, a place where ocular vision and the ‘mind’s eye’ meet.” p. 58 “If Cartesianism was the mathematicization of space in theory, sugar planting was its implementation in practice, creating a spatialized geometry designed to produce maximum yields and hence profits. Indeed the sugarcane plantation gave physical form to the table as a means of data organization that is often seen to be emblematic of the period. This functional geometry was the counterpoint to the spectacular mapping that was made of the metropole.” “Space was mapped by the enslaved to enable entertainment, commerce, and outright resistance to slavery” pp. 60 “The map and the table depicted an abstract field of visible nomination that was sustained by the force of what was taken to be


law, whether human or natural. The law, although invisible, thus formed the ground for the possibility of representing space and species in distinct but exchangeable form.” pp. 65 “Oversight had sought to frame its authority locally within the bounds of a given plantation that was subject to the surveillance of a particular overseer. This authority gained force as the surrogation of the omniscient gaze of the sovereign, even as it was granted an exceptional autonomy from the procedures of judgment … unable to sustain its form, the plantation complex entered a period of crisis, competing with a new visualized regime of “liberty,” whose counterpoint would be visuality.” pp. 76


The Legs of the Countess - Abigail Solomon-Godeau

[Semiotics of the feminine] “Their reading thus needs to be both symptomatic and dialectical: symptomatic in that they are the personal expression of an individual woman's investment in her image -- in herself as image; dialectical in that this individual act of expression is underwritten by conventions that make her less an author than a scribe … the psychic fetishism of patriarchy, grounded in the specificity of the corporeal body [and] the commodity fetishism of capitalism, shrouded in what Marx termed the “veil of reification,” and grounded in the means of production and the social relations they engender; and the fetishizing properties of the photograph -- a commemorative trace of an absent object, the still picture of a frozen loko, a screen for the projective play of the spectator’s consciousness.” pp. 67-68 “The nineteenth century culturally manifest a heightened fetishization of the woman’s body, it is equally important to acknowledge that it is also the period that witnessed the penetration of the commodity into all spheres of life, experience, and consciousness … In producing and reproducing the image-world of capitalism, photography is simultaneously a commodity and an instrument of commodification.” pp. 68 “The babble of the popular press, the gushing of her admirers, the ritualistic tributes to feminine beauty are not only overdetermined, but serve, crucially, to mask the nonidentity of the feminine position, its nullity in relation to an acknowledged subjectivity” pp. 80 “Mirror of male desire, a role, an image, a value, the fetisized woman attempts to locate herself, to affirm her subjectivity within the


rectangular space of another fetish -- ironically enough, the “mirror of nature’” pp.83 “An entire system of distinctions, elaborations, signs, and codes--a system that pretends to be founded on differences--is in reality a tendentious elaboration of the same.” All subjectivity is abject in the economy of desire pp. 104 “Like the conventionalized femininity she was believed to incarnate, the edges of the photographic frame are a Procrustean bed to which body and soul must accommodate themselves. The masks, the disguises, the postures, the poses, the ballgowns, the display of the body--what is the countess but a tabula rasa on whom is reflected a predetermined and delimited range of representation?” pp. 105


Matter Acts: De-Forming Space - Barbara Hooper

“Our tendency to think of particular morphogenetic operations--categorizing, classifying, ordering, measuring, speaking, thinking, and so forth--as not-material, sustains the illusion that there could be a spatial order imposed by humans upon an unresisting reality … Space and time are experientially real but severed from matter, ontological impossibilities. In a morphogenetic world of matter in motion, there is no possibility of pinpointing the moment and site of change, of isolating a before and after, a here and there” pp. 207-208 “The final reason for the repression of matter, perhaps the most tenacious, is to be found in Western modernity’s tortured relation to matter and flesh: on the one hand, its materialisms, empiricisms, and phenomenologies which valorize matter, exalting matter as what reveals the “truth” of reality; and on the other, a devalorization of matter and a deep abhorrence and abjection of flesh” pp. 208


Unbinding Vision - Jonathan Crary

“Attention is not just one of many topics examined experimentally by late-nineteenth-century psychology. It can be argued that a certain notion of attention is in fact the fundamental condition of its knowledge. That is, most of the crucial areas of research, whether of reaction times, of sensory and perceptual sensitivity, of reflex action, of conditioned response--all of these presupposed a subject whose attentiveness was the site of observation, classification, and measurement, and thus the point around which knowledge of many kinds was accumulated. It was not a question, then, of a neutral timeless activity like breathing or sleeping but rather of the emergence of a specific model of behavior with a historical structure that was articulated in terms of socially determined norms.” pp 24 “Part of the cultural logic of capitalism demands that we accept as natural switching our attention rapidly from one thing to another. Capital, as accelerated exchange and circulation, necessarily produces this kind of human perceptual adaptability and becomes a regime of reciprocal attentiveness and distraction.” pp. 23 “Attention, in terms of its historical position, is much more than a question of the gaze, of looking, of opticality, but rather how within modernity vision is merely one layer of a body that could be captured, shaped, directed by a range of external techniques but which was also an evolving sensory-motor system capable of creating and dissolving forms.” pp. 27


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