The Zone and Zones - Radical Spatiality in our Times

Broj 2 - Godina 2 - 06/2012

Uvodnik

The long-expected fourth issue of [sic] – a Journal of Literature, Culture and Literary Translation offers a selection of papers presented at the second international conference entitled Re-Thinking Humanities and Social Sciences and held at the University of Zadar in September 2011. The conference topic, The Zone and Zones - Radical Spatiality in our Times, proved to have been intellectually enticing to almost one hundred scholars who managed to create a radical space of their own. Immersed into the zone of Croatian seaside filled with the aroma of pine trees and the Adriatic Sea, the zone of leisure rather than work, they managed to create an intellectual heterotopia by discussing the multilayered meanings of space. ..

Pročitaj cijeli članak →
Izdvojeno

On the basis of ever-mounting evidence, amongst which is the “zone” problematic of the Zadar conference that occassioned these notes, it can be concluded that the spatial turn has insinuated itself as an all-pervading heuristic tool throughout the humanities and the social sciences. The extent to which space and spatiality have usurped the central stage in the various branches of reasearch can be gauged by admonishments that what we are witnessing is a new fundamentalism that has simply inverted the terms of the dualism of time and space (May and Thrift 2001: “Introduction”). According to Michael Dear the sway of space is manifested in multifold ways: in the ubiquity of spatial analysis in social theories and practices; in the explosion of publications devoted to the exploration of the interface of the social and the spatial; in the reintegration of human geography into various domains of knowledge; in the focus given to difference and the consequent diversification of theoretical and empirical practices; in a theoretically informed exploration of the relation between geographical knowledge and social action; and, finally, in the unprecedented proliferation of research agendas and publications pertaining to these isuuses (Dear 2001: 24). Two recent collections of papers are indicative of the ubiquity of spatial issues in scholarly work....

Pročitaj cijeli članak →

Shurina soba miriše po njoj, miriše tmasto i na mladost. Kad je dignem iz kreveta, obraz joj je naslonjen na moje rame, ali pridigne glavu i natjera se otvoriti oči, bojeći se da nešto ne propusti. „Mama, igramo se nešto?“„Da, milo, igramo novu igru.“ Pitam se može li osjetiti miris viskija na meni. Malo sam omamljena, ali nekako sam i bistra kao voda. Nosim Shuru iz njene sobe u kuhinju, tijelo joj je opušteno i toplo u mom naručju. „Moraš popiti ovaj vilinski napitak, dušo, a onda ćemo prileći.“„Na pod?“„Da, ljubavi, tu na pod. Vidiš, napravila sam nam udoban krevet.“Dodajem joj čašu i ona polako guta; stisnula je usne na gorki okus, ali pristaje na igru, smjestivši se na jastuk koji sam stavila na pokrivač na pločicama. „Laku noć, mamili“, kaže Shura, njezine zadnje riječi. Odem do štednjaka i sve plamenike otvorim na najjače, zatim legnem kraj nje. Put u Irsku je dobro prošao. Unajmili smo auto u Dublinu – zlo, smrdljivo mjesto – i krenuli na zapad prolazeći kroz jedan ružni grad za drugim do Connemare. Ondje se kopno otvara prema Atlantiku kao mladenka svome mladoženji; neukroćeno je to, gorko lijepo mjesto kamena i vode. Naša kućica na proplanku bila je oronulo zdanje uz rub močvare hrđave boje. No Ted je vjerovao u svoju poeziju pa je sve bilo glađe i podnošljivije. Ni Sylvijina glava nije ležala na jastuku između nas kao kod kuće u Engleskoj. ...

Pročitaj cijeli članak →

The cartographer’s dream is that of a perfect map: a map that perfectly represents a territory, a dream of Divine knowledge; a map that has haunted the ideology of representation throughout history; a map so detailed that it coincides with real space. In a short parable, ‘Museum, on Exactitude in Science’, Borges describes the mysterious gild of cartographers which charts such a map. Although Borges’ narrative finishes with a nostalgic conclusion about a superfluous and forgotten discipline, the cartographer’s dream of a perfect map has never ceased: it has merely varied throughout history. For medieval cartographers the perfect map included the physical cosmos and the spiritual one. In Dante’s time the European ‘mappa mundi’ depicted one single landmass, the Northern Hemisphere, with Jerusalem in the middle and the world is variously shown as dominated or held by God. In the Psalter mappa mundi, which is surmounted by an illustration of the Last Judgement, God holds a little dark red ball, the size of a golf ball – the world. Its size reminds us of the world’s shrinkage due to the advancing technology of transport and communications of the 20th century. Borges’ mystical Aleph on the other hand contains the whole cosmos within its confines (no bigger than the globe held by God on the Hereford map). In a sense the Aleph is a goal of cartography, its theology. Instead of God’s gaze into the unknown distance (as on the Hereford map), Renaissance cartographers imagined the Ptolemaic human gaze looking down on the Earth. The cartographer’s ‘organ of sight’ began to shift from the inner eye of the soul to the physical eye of the body: the idea of the globe as a whole observed by a ‘roving human eye’ is connected to the Renaissance idea of perspectivism. In many respects Renaissance concepts of space laid the foundations for the Enlightenment project. Maps were stripped of spiritual space, of their angels and their monsters; cartographers were involved in the production of abstract and functional systems based on mathematically rigorous depiction. By conceiving space as abstract, homogenous and universal, perspectivism and mathematical mapping enabled the era of great discoveries and colonization. Since then, the world has become more and more enmeshed in different maps, in different spaces, including that without volume, a new immaterial space of digital being. By constantly increasing digital connections of one site with thousands of others, cyberspace branches out in many directions at once, creating a labyrinthine web. Its expansion parallels the latest theory of cosmology, of an ‘inflationary’ period, during which the whole cosmos swelled from a microscopic point smaller than a proton to the size of a grapefruit in a fraction of a second. Paradoxically, we live in an ambiguous spatial construction: on one hand there seems to be a perfect map of the Empire that covers the territory (modern science masters both micro and macro worlds ever more precisely); on the other hand social theory reflects an overwhelming disorientation and confusion, characteristics of an existence within ‘the ruins of the Map’. However, both premises of Borges’ parable appear to be confusing. The map that covers the territory would confuse a traveller: does one navigate the actual or the virtual? Is the perfect map that would be a substitute for reality possible? Do we live in the ‘Tattered Ruins of that Map’? Maybe the map does not mirror the real, but precedes the territory and opens new, as yet undiscovered spaces. Or, better still, we should invent new maps. Borges’ parable teems with many readings describing postmodern cartography’s attempt to map the territory, or reality, and at the same time show the impossibility of such an endeavour. ...

Pročitaj cijeli članak →

Jedan je čovjek rekao: „Najljepše godine moga života su ondje, u prašini eksplozije.“Zaspali su u kukuruzu. Ništa ne čuju, ništa ne vide. Mladi su. Kukuruz ih štiti.Operaciju su najavili u tisku. Televizija, radio ponavljaju informaciju, riječi naviru, uporne, i ako se rečenica izgubi od jedne do druge sobe, rekonstituirat će se između kuhinje i balkona. Čuje se: „rušenje… problemi… zone… stambeni park… prenaseljenost… predgrađe… dotrajalost… rušenje… eksploziv… stambena četvrt… deset nebodera…“ Shvaćamo da će već mjesecima zazidani neboderi biti srušeni. Barem je to jednostavno. Iz jednog se nebodera preselila u drugi. Kad je suprug došao po nju u selo, odmah je pristala. Sve te godine u kući koja nikad neće biti njezina. Od prvog je dana znala da je majka njenog supruga neće voljeti. Nije ju zlostavljala, ignorirala ju je, kao da ona nije bila majka djece njenog najstarijeg sina. Svekrva ju je intrigama pokušala odvojiti od dječaka kako bi ih poslala da žive s ocem jer ona nije bila dostojna odgajati sinove, a kćeri, to je manje važno, one mogu ostati s majkom. U dvjema sobama kuće koja nije njena kuća čekala je dan kad će je suprug izbaviti od prešutnog i podmuklog proganjanja. Otputovala je s djecom, svekrva je plakala, htjela je otići s najstarijim sinom u drugu zemlju. Starica je ostala u svojoj kući....

Pročitaj cijeli članak →