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41. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Laura Menatti From Non-Place to Rhizome: A Geophilosophical Analysis of Contemporary Globalized Space
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Rosario Assunto, an Italian philosopher of aesthetics begins one of his most interesting and dense essays with a terrifying image about the Earth where we live—“calvizie della terra dissacrata” (1983, 15)—meaning that the Earth becomes bald because of the actions of the man and loses every characteristics of beauty and sacredness. According to Assunto’s theory the homo oeconomicus is the author and the promoter of a Promethean, titanic, industrial, and malodorous town where the sense of art, beauty, and the harmony in landscape are forgotten and erased. The Modern homo oeconomicus is satisfied in his thoughts and works with such a desecrated and raped Earth, rather, he desires this kind of landscape as a symbol of his own progress. I remember that when I first red this essay I asked myself what kind of philosophy I could propose in such a horizon and what kind of analysis I could develop. Maybe geophilosophy could now give some answers. Geophilosophy, according to the version I will propose, deconstructs the usual and reductionist grammar about the concept of space and place, suggesting a new expressive, perceptive and, finally, ethic possibility for the relation between human beings and places. In this article I provide my interpretation of geophilosophy, inspired by Gilles Deleuze’s words, the first philosopher of XX century who wrote about this concept. Then I will analyze nonplaces according to the famous definition proposed by the Marc Augé and I will go beyond the French anthropologist’s definition suggesting a new interpretative model for places and non-places by linking my idea of geophilosophy to Deleuze’s concept of rhizome. The aim of this article is to demonstrate the complexity of the concept of place and finally put into evidence that places, which constitute our roots, are all the spaces we have around, even non-places. The Post-modern era mainly producesnon-places: geophilosophy has to explain the philosophical and cultural reasons for this production by pointing out which possible modalities of connection we can find between contemporary human beings and places.
42. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Phillip J. Nelson The Art of Sailing: An Exploration of Memory, Imagination, and Place
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Edward S. Casey offers a phenomenology of memory and imagination in his book Spirit and Soul, which provides a unique opportunity for thinking about the very ethereal and aqueous activity of sailing. Imagination and memory are as much a part of everyday life as most forms of mentation; but sailing, as much as it is a physical activity, is just as much a suitable analogy for engaging with these particular psychic forms. In their collaboration, memory and imagination are a means for balancing the sails with the wind just as much as they provide equilibrium to the temporal expanse of conscious unification. But perhaps mostimportantly, in their spiritual and soulful employment, imagination and memory provide a place and a home for dwelling and sailing.
43. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Andrew Cox, Steve Spencer Sheffield Then and Now: Myths of Place in Local History Picture Books
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One significant way in which place is represented is through books based on old photographs and postcards. Recontextualised in such books, historical photos can be used to create mesmeric myths about a locality. This paper explores the genre through four works about areas in Sheffield, a city in the north of England. The book for the well to do suburb, Crosspool, constructs a quaint rural past. Two representations of a working class district are perhaps a little more successful in recovering a personally significant past. The history of a local steel firm avoids issues of social conflict and exploitation by adopting a documentary tone. Thegenre trades on the active interest of seeing familiar scenes as they were in the past, but fails to develop interpretative strategies, such as asking about the context of photos’ original creation or reflecting on how they have been reused.
44. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Jude Elund Imagining Space in the Lost Gardens of Apollo
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Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs) are unique spaces that defy materialist interpretations of space and place. In drawing upon Edward Soja’s work of spatiality, CVEs can be considered as thirdspace, a space that has as much relevance as that typified by our physical, or ‘real,’ existence. Virtual space undermines the rigid polemic of the ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’ by revealing lived experience as a combination of both real and imagined experience. The virtual illuminates experience as a relativist combination of perception and interpretation that inhabits both the corporeal and the virtual realms. Using the example of Second Life’s Lost Gardens of Apollo this article will illuminate the fluidity of real and imagined place through an environment of rich visual experience. Inaddition, such spaces will be discussed as places of potential social and political reconfiguration by challenging the traditional socio-cultural and historical aspects of space.
45. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Roger Paden Aesthetics and Sustainable Architecture
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Discussions of green design and sustainable architecture have become common in the architectural profession, but not in philosophy. This is unfortunate, as philosophers could make important contributions to this discussion, given that these terms rife with ambiguities and that the relationships between these ideas and the traditional Vitruvian values of architecture (beauty, structure, and utility) are unclear. In a recent article, Tom Spector addresses some of these issues to assess whether the notion of sustainability could underpin an entire design philosophy. He concludes that it cannot. I argue that Spector’s argumentsare flawed. After discussing the history of green design, I connect a number of theories in the new field of environmental aesthetics to the question of architectural aesthetics to show how sustainability might inform architecture.
46. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Alex Zukas Worker’s Festive Spaces in the Weimar Republic: May Day and the Berlin Lustgarten
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May Day was the most popular holiday of the two major wings of the German labor movement, Social Democratic and Communist, during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933). While the political importance and ideological significance of May Day celebrations for the German labor movement have been extensively researched, its geographicity, the inherently spatialized and spatializing moment of lived experience, as well as the content of that geographicity have been relatively neglected. Examining working-class May Day celebrations in a specific built environment like the Lustgarten permits detailed consideration of the ways that the festive has involved spatializing and spatialized moments of lived experience which were part of the spatial reproduction of class relations and class experiences at the local level in Berlin in the Weimar Republic.
47. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Christophe Van Gerrewey Christian Norberg-Schulz (1926-2000): Architecture Protected by Phenomenology
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The Norwegian historian Christian Norberg-Schulz (1926-2000) is held responsible, in general, for introducing phenomenological methods and concepts into the field of architecture theory, criticism and history. This article examines his legacy and his writings by focusing on one text on the Pyramide-Le-Perthus, built in France in 1976 by the Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill. In an exemplary way, this text shows how Norberg-Schulz used phenomenology not to ‘experience’contemporary architecture, but rather to protect it from the problems of the modern world. Norberg-Schulz wrote that architecture should “tell us what being in the world implies,” but the world he constructed by means of a phenomenological reading of architecture, proves to be very narrow and almost absurd.
48. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Panizza Allmark War Zone Rhetoric, Photography and the 2011 Riots in England
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In the August riots in England 2011, web sites provided up-to-date access to bare witness to the unsettling events that conveyed the essence of contemporary war and crisis reporting. These characteristics include events happening in real time, dramatic accounts, continuous coverage and multimedia footage, with also the inclusion of eyewitness stories and images. The rhetoric of war was used and dramatic photographs played a pivotal role in conveying the civil unrest as a ‘war zone.’ Significantly, the local environment becomes the place for potential trauma, but also a space where the spectacle of violence, destruction, as well as community spirit are foregrounded. This article examines the background to the riots and the vernacular of war photography and the cultural landscape civil unrest and urban space.
49. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Luis O. Arata Modeling Environments Through Narrative
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This article examines how narratives mediate human interactions with environments to create a sense of place and identity. We begin with a review of the Greek poem Phaenomena to see how constellations brought a human dimension to the cosmos as well as a sense of predictability. A review of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea illustrates the conception of indifferent space that erases the human presence, and how the imagination comes into play to fill the void. We examine how narratives work to model aspects of environments and draw out meaning where before there was raw substance. Two seminal poems of Baudelaire then present a more subjective modeling of the environment. Pablo Neruda let his poetic vision be reflected in his three homes as protective playgrounds for his imagination. The article concludes that the models we examined are sheltering niches that help us feel at home in the world. As environments turn out to be more interactive, fragile, and complex than previously thought, our narratives also have to reflect on their impact on the sense of home they propose.
50. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Malcolm Woollen The Stockholm Exhibit 1930: Reinventing the Everyday
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This article attempts to explain how the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 was uniquely different from previous exhibitions and sought to resolve a longstanding tension between a vision of the future and longing for the past. In particular, it addresses how ideas of the everyday were redirected towards functionalism in a joyful festive context through the agency of consumer desire. It also explains how the exhibition attempted to relate to Skansen, a nearby museum of the Swedishvernacular and how Gunnar Asplund’s concepts of functionalism reflect Heidegger’s principles of dwelling. Finally, using Foucault’s concepts of ‘other’ spaces, it shows how the Stockholm Exhibition served as a heterotopia of the future that collaborated actively with a heterotopia of the past to make a more convincing case to a mass audience about the appropriateness of functionalism in Sweden.
51. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Scott Tate Everyday Life, Tinkering, and Full Participation in the Urban Cultural Imaginary
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Cities around the globe are immersed in transnational projects of place reconfiguration and attraction. Urban places, intent on competing in the globalized experience-based economy, undertake identity projects—on-going, dynamic processes through which places are produced and reproduced by conscious strategies of place making and identity building (see, for example, Nyseth and Viken 2009). In this article, I employ Henri Lefebvre’s conceptions of a “right to the city” in order to explore the right to full participation in imagining and shaping urban futures. Spatial practices, such as those I term civic tinkering, may offer one way to help enable such imagining.My discussion draws from scholarship on imaginaries and place identity, as well as on my own qualitative field studies conducted in Roanoke, Virginia, in the United States, and Belfast, Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. While my precise research questions differed in these two sites, I explored, in each instance, the processes of place identification and development centered on arts and culture, and the extent to which marginal groups and their concerns were engaged or considered in such processes. I also explore “tinkering” as a set of activities that hold potential for residents to more fully participate in the urban project byconstructing, altering, and disrupting spatial meanings. Tinkering may be any impermanent, unsanctioned, and informal activity endeavoring to positively alter a city’s identity. Henri Lefebvre described the relevance of such practices in his vision of the city as oeuvre, or ongoing project.
52. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Michael Marder On the Mountains, or The Aristocracies of Space
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Mountain peaks, like all uninhabitable and barely accessible environments, stand in the way of a clear-cut distinction between “place” and “space.” Building on the environmental thought of Aldo Leopold, as well as the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and twentieth-century phenomenology, I draw attention to this obscure in-between region and argue that the conceptual distinction must be subject to careful adumbration, depending on the concrete place where it is employed. Subsequently, mountains are theorized as the sites of friction between earth and world, where sovereign authority and objectivizing thinking are equally suspended.
53. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
John A. Scott Who’s Where?
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Central to several current philosophical projects is determining which conversational conventions will best locate and accommodate all the required participants. This article follows Troy Paddock’s lead in exploring a number of conventions currently on offer, particularly Heidegger’s aesthetic nearness-to-hand and Latour’s scientific Actor-Network-Theory. This article also introduces Donald Davidson’s social triangulation as a complementary model of approach: one thatimplicates propositional agents in potentially revealing relations. It concludes that a close study of implicational, as distinct from inferential, argument and judgment may prove profitable in establishing a secure and productive environment, and may foster the emergence of modeling techniques and metrics that could help in designing such conversations.
54. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Małgorzata A. Dereniowska Contested Concept of Sustainability: A Consumer Society and Dialectic of Human Desire
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This article argues that sustainability is essentially a contested concept that not only cannot be sufficiently defined in a one-forall blueprint, but requires a new mode of self-actualization of human potential in dialogical, cooperative learning processes. Inherent aporias and their ethical implications are illustrated by an analysis of the mainstream interpretation of the sustainability concept in the context of the relationship between the logic of accumulation and improvement and insatiable human desires as off-springs of a deeper ontological transformation of modernity. A philosophical account of technology and modern sciencewill be introduced in order to investigate overconsumption driven by mimetic desires and the transformative and dialectic dynamics of desire. A contemplative learning model is suggested as a useful basis for a reasonable interpretation of the sustainability concept.
55. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Jason P. Matzke Walking in Nature: Thoreau’s Local Ambles or Muir’s Wilderness Treks?
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It has been argued by philosophers and cultural historians that the notion of wilderness as it has been developed in the West problematically separates—conceptually and practically—humans from wild nature. The human/wilderness dichotomy, it is said, potentially leads even well-intentioned, environmentally minded people to work for wilderness preservation at the expense of paying attention to our local, lived environment. Although Henry David Thoreau and John Muir are often taken to be key architects of the inherited notion of wilderness, I draw from their differing descriptions of spending time in wild areas in orderto argue that Thoreau provides a view of the human-nature relationship that is not susceptible to this particular worry. Thoreau, much more than Muir, provides us with reasons to not ignore our local lived space in favor of protecting only more wild (i.e., less humanized) places. The contrast between the two does not diminish the value of Muir’s work, but it does remind us that key figures—Thoreau in this case—in the development of the dominant wilderness paradigm should not be set aside as unhelpful in our own efforts to better understand our relationship with local place.
56. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
John Charles Ryan Toward a Phen(omen)ology of the Seasons: The Emergence of the Indigenous Weather Knowledge Project (IWKP)
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Since European settlement, the Western calendar has insufficiently accounted for the seasonal nuances and multiple temporalities of Australia. Beginning with Tim Entwistle’s recent proposal to revise the four-season Australian norm, this article traces the emergence of the Western calendar in Europe and its institutionalization ‘Down Under.’ With its emphasis on land-based calendars, the Indigenous Weather Knowledge Project (IWKP) is a partnership between Aboriginal communities and the Bureau of Meteorology aimed at preserving and promoting knowledge of the endemic seasons of Australian regions. As themost recent addition to the IWKP, the six-season Nyoongar calendar of the South-West of Western Australia is based on meteorological conditions (ecological time), such as wind directions and temperatures, but also on the procurement of food, maintenance of cultural knowledge, and performance of ceremonies (structural time). Through the fusion of phenomenological (experiential, sensory, place-based, actual) and phenological (cognitive, visual, enumerative, digital) approaches, the endemic seasons of Australia can be appreciated in their depth and extent.
57. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Tom Bristow Climatic Literary Geoinformatics: Radical Empiricism, Region, and Seasonal Phenomena in John Kinsella’s Jam Tree Gully Poems
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John Kinsella’s twentieth volume of poetry is laden with a poetics of attention to time, water and heat. Climate inheres in simplified topographical sketches, surveys and encounters with animals; water is ambiguous: a solid presence that is also fluid, subject to evaporation and often modelled as multi-dimensional motion; universalised western seasons are used rhetorically and symbolically to bring into relief little seasons within seasons, the more spatially and temporally localised markers of change. All these speak directly to the function of the image and terrestrial matter (“Matter is dreamed and not perceived”: Bachelard),and how poetry is alert to such conditions. Kinsella has conceived of this as a “clash between linguistic anomaly and environmental exactness.”
58. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Sean S. Miller An Examination of the Burgeoning Green Schools Movement in the United States: Part One: Historical and Contemporary Relevance
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This article seeks to introduce the topics of green schools and sustainability education to the reader as the first article in a series of pieces on such subject matters. With respect to the first essay, the modern historical development of sustainability related education is assessed through the lens of its roots in both the U.S. educational system and the environmental movement. Furthermore, many of the purported benefits of green school construction practices are examined subsequently given their relative importance and popularity with respect to the topic. Finally, a brief but important examination is proffered per several of the philosophical ramifications of these efforts in an effort to further develop the understanding and discussion of such topics and the related series of articles.
59. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Peter Nekola Looking Back at the International Map of the World
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This article takes a look back at the historical and philosophical context of the International Map of the World, humans’ first attempt at mapping the entire surface of the earth in detail on a uniform scale. Albrect Penck’s initial idea for a thoroughly detailed topographic map of the world, proposed at Fifth International Geographical Conference in 1891 and securing the support, both symbolic and financial, of many of the world’s governments by the first decades of the twentiethcentury, consisted of a uniform series of hypsometrically-colored topographical maps overlaid with human data (urbanized areas, railroads, and other infrastructure, primarily) and dividing the world into consistently-scaled quadrangles. Envisioned by some geographers and cartographers as a component of the peace, both following both the First and then the Second World War, the project would come to be administered by international and non-governmental organizations by midcentury, as primary governmental support for cartography at that time increasingly reflected territorial interests and claims over and above those in favor of employing concepts of geographical knowledge that were not explicitly political or territorial. The slow demise of the project can be understood to signify the ultimate difficulty of a project that disacknowledged the fundamentality of politically constructed boundaries by employing another scale, in this case, a geometric scale with systematically geographical content, in order to frame its maps.
60. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
James Hatley Wild Seasons and the Justice of Country: Dreaming the Weathers Anew in Hebraic Midrash
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Employing the rabbinical practice of midrashic reading in order to unfold a passage from The Song of Songs, the manner in which a European/colonial affirmation of the seasons, particularly the season of spring, might become a mode of injustice in a non-temperate climate is explored. The wilding of seasons imposed by colonial usurpation of country finds a particular case study in the invasion of Arrente lands in Australia by buffel grass even as the effects of climate change are being felt. In conclusion, an argument is made for recasting the practice of midrashic reading in order to render the seasons as they are found in TheSong of Songs vulnerable to unanticipated intonations of the seasons as they emerge in Arrente country.