Constructing Common Space From Fiction: Borrowing the Logico-Fantastic Machine

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

The spaces we inhabit are in essence a construct; each one is a fabricated environment that obtains its significance through cultural, corporeal and experiential understandings that are various, dynamic and ever-changing. Such characteristics make it utterly impossible to depict space through contemporary forms of digitization composed of regulatory standards, systems and computerized modes of making.
Heidegger in Being and Time (1996) describes world as something that should be understood as a familiar context of meaning. He describes how a world created through processes of summarization and categorization of space result in an assemblage of trivial contents that informs us of nothing other than characteristics of physicality. This fixation with calculation and universal language silences that which surfaces from human experiences and lived-in perception; the interweaving of culture and nature, of concrete and ephemeral, of self and the world, resulting in a depiction that is abstract and alienating.
Modes of representing space must go beyond a standardized language of forms in order to allow it to become the constructed common ground that one orients, identifies and dwells within. The proposal here is that fictitious processes of spatial representation activate the imagination, enabling one to be actively engaged in the processes of spatial construction. Fictions, by allowing one to escape a privileged (imprisoned) position, constrained to a personal segment of space, allows one to be granted intimate access to that which is beyond the singularity of their own being. Thereby, representations that embody characteristics of realities’ other provide a stable reference point for the play of imaginations reciprocally, enabling the construction of a collective built upon multiplicities of interpretation, action and lived situations.

This work is in reference to Italo Calvino’s autonomous Logico-Fantastic Machine that is described in his work The Literature Machine (1980). He depicts this machine as being able to enlarge the sphere of what one can imagine so to create a new city based on our own interpretation. The Logico-Fantastic Machine is to be able to allow one to escape reality and float like dust above the sea of the objective world. As a point of departure, Calvino’s machine will be metaphorically applied to three social housing estates within Copenhagen, as a part of the Reconfiguring Welfare Landscape project currently being undertaken at the University of Copenhagen. In a time when these sites are under various processes of change and reconstruction, and essentially re-establishment, the use of fiction will be applied in an attempt to create a more in depth understanding of characteristics and possibilities of each space.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventVisual Culture: Environment and Nature Conference 2017 - Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Duration: 21 Mar 2017 → …
https://visualcultureconference2017.tumblr.com/

Conference

ConferenceVisual Culture
LocationLund University
CountrySweden
CityLund
Period21/03/2017 → …
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Session 2.1

ID: 185269945