The Zone and Zones - Radical Spatiality in our Times

No. 2 - Year 2 - 06/2012

Editorial

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. ..

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Featuring

Pjesništvo Susanne Jorn intimno je s mnogo kratkih pjesama koje često izražavaju osjećaje, atmosferu i dojmove. Tu su osobna viđenja prirode i ljudi, doživljena, mogli bismo reći, na slikarski način. Boje su gotovo redoviti sastavni dio tih doživljaja i kao na slikama, stvaraju dramatičnu ili smirenu atmosferu. One su izraz prirode koja okružuje pjesnikinju, ali su i izraz osjećaja i duševnih stanja. To se jasno pokazuje u zbirci Ne sada već sad, čiji je okvir paleta plavih boja. Druga scena njezine poezije sličice su iz japanskog života i japanske umjetnosti i pjesništva, koje mnogo puta prenosi u svoju dansku okolinu. U zbirci Ne sada već sad mnoge su pjesme prizori iz Danske ili Tokija, ali i drugih krajeva svijeta gdje je boravila. Ipak, njezino je pjesništvo prije svega vezano uz nordijsko nebo, zemlju i kulturu te sjećanja na oca (poznatog danskog likovnog umjetnika Asgera Jorna, koji je u svojim djelima spajao različite vrste umjetnosti. Asger Jorn bio je član poznate transnacionalne udruge CoBrA, koja je djelovala početkom 1950-ih godina). U mnoge se pjesme određenih osjećaja i ozračja skladno uklapaju i japanski i danski krajolici te japanski i, ako tako možemo reći, nordijski pjesnički izraz. Unatoč vrlo intimnoj poeziji, kao i većina skandinavskih pjesnika i pjesnikinja, Susanne Jorn osjetljiva je na sudbu današnjeg čovjeka bilo gdje u svijetu i ona nalazi značajno mjesto u njezinu pjesništvu....

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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. ...

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Sveta Katarina Bolonjska, rođena u Ferrari 1413. Bila je opatica bolonjskog samostana klarisa. Na Božić 1456. primila je malenog Isusa iz Bogorodičinih ruku. Posvetila je život pomaganju siromaha i vršenju Božje volje. Umrla je 1463.Dolaze trojica, u koloni, putem uz rub ceste. Tamom skrivena tijela jedva da se naziru u skromnoj svjetlosti farova kamiona, autobusa i automobila što proriču zoru. Koračaju. Visoko suho šipražje dodiruje nogavice njihovih hlača.To su otac, sin i mladić kojeg znaju iz viđenja. Okuražen govori: Već deset godina idem pješice; zbog besparice pri kraju mjeseca. Odlučio im se pridružiti.Otac vozi kombi za jednog autoprijevoznika u Limau.Dječak ima deset-jedanaest godina, iako se zbog krhke građe doima mnogo mlađim. Trenutno ne ide u školu. Prodaje hot-dog ispred firme u kojoj mu radi otac – s kečapom ili majonezom – i Coca-Colu. Noću čuva kombi u dvorištu firme, čuvari ga drže na oku. Kad naraste, sanja, nestat će iz Brazila i postati vozač kamiona....

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Experiences of listening can be appreciated as intensely relational, bringing us into contact with surrounding events, bodies and things. Given that sound propagates and expands outwardly, as a set of oscillations from a particular source, listening carries with it a sensual intensity, whereby auditory phenomena deliver intrusive and disruptive as well as soothing and assuring experiences. The physicality characteristic of sound suggests a deeply impressionistic, locational "knowledge structure" – that is, the ways in which listening affords processes of exchange, of being in the world, and from which we extend ourselves. Sound, as physical energy reflecting and absorbing into the materiality around us, and even one's self, provides a rich platform for understanding place and emplacement. Sound is always already a trace of location.Such features of auditory experience give suggestion for what I may call an acoustical paradigm – how sound sets in motion not only the material world but also the flows of the imagination, lending to forces of signification and social structure, and figuring us in relation to each other. The relationality of sound brings us into a steady web of interferences, each of which announces the promise or problematic of being somewhere....

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