What’s it all about – the ‚Space’?

27 Jun

For now, just a quote by Doreen Massey, a contemporary British social scientist and geographer:

But the real result of this argument is that time needs space to get itself going; time and space are born together, along with the relations that produce them both. Time and space must be thought together, therefore, for they are inextricably intermixed. A first implication, then of this impetus to envisage temporality/history as genuinely open is that spatiality must be integrated as an essential part of the process of the ‘continuous creation of novelty’. Such an effectively creative spatiality cannot, however, be just any kind of (way of thinking of) space. This cannot be ‘space’ as a static cross-section through time, for […] this disables history itself. Nor can it be ‘space’ as representation conceived of as stasis, for this precisely immobilizes things. Nor can it be ‘space’ as a closed equilibrium system, for this would be a spatiality that goes nowhere, that always returns to the same. This cannot be ‘space’ either, as any kind of comforting closure (the closures of bounded, ‘authentic’ places), for these would also run down into inertia. Nor can it be space convened as temporal sequence, for here space is in fact occluded and the future is closed. None of these ways of imagining space are conformable with the desire to hold time open. Rather, for time genuinely to be held open, space could be imagined as the sphere of the existence of multiplicity, of the possibility of the existence of difference. Such a space is the sphere in which distinct stories coexist, meet up, affect each other, come into conflict or cooperate. This space is not static, not a cross-section through time; it is disrupted, active and generative. It is not a closed system; it is constantly, as space-time, being made.

Massey, D. (1999): Space-time, ’science‘ and the relationship between physical geography and human geography. In: Transactions Institute British Geographers NS 24, 261-276 (p. 274).


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