Friday, March 19, 2010

Wax Museums/Community/Heterotopia

I was teaching Borges's "The Aleph" in my fiction writing class this week and it made me think that maybe my critique of pervading ideas of community and its fear of "the wax museum," and on the other hand my own embrace of the wax museum as a model of community is perhaps just Foucault's good old idea of heterotopia.

Here's the wikipedia entry for heterotopia. I don't think Foucault's article is online.

But I think it has more to do with what Daniel Tiffany in his latest book, Infidel Poetics, represents with nightclubs and thieves latin - ie moments that forge - in the words of the Latour quotes I gave a couple of days ago - networks with unlike entities. Ie translation becomes the social, the moment of community.


Blogger Danielle said...

Hey J,

If you're reading up on Actor-Network theory, Adam says check John Law, Michele Callon, and Susan Lighstar especially 'cause she's kind of a post-actor-network theory person, "responsible for reintroducing gender and power where Latour deliberately writes it out..." (This sentence then went on for a long time and was very interesting, but I need a snack.)

2:10 PM  
Blogger Phanero Noemikon said...

I think this is a good approach.
it allows the subject itself to reveal the smooth-space of subjectivity.

it's hard to explain this to people.
you can say "constructionism"

or you can find examples
like first there are two guys talking about politics in hungary
and then suddenly one of them says

hey, let's get something to eat.

one is a german,
the other's name
is gary. etc..

all things become fodder
for all things

and build


bean fish

in menus

or Meaning
like a sun

contour after contour
after contour

priciple born of surface
and reordering surface

at some point

it's just surface
but it's always



or wave-illed
or willful hyle.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Max said...

"Heterotopia" is an interesting idea I'd never considered before. Thanks for sharing.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Robb St. Lawrence said...

Below's a link to a PDF (via Google Docs) of the Foucault in English. For whatever reason, the Wikipedia page links to the French. And it's always better, really, to get at least some remnant of context--the Diacritics article is for most Anglophone audiences where they would have come across this essay. Can't speak to the reality of the situation, but the conclusion's emphasis of the ship as heterotopic space is interesting, temporally, as background to Paul Gilroy's use of the figure of the ship as an object of inquiry in The Black Atlantic.

6:30 PM  

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