Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New doorplates

So it's new professorial doorplates for Andrew Burn (yay!!), Carey Jewitt (yay!!) and Gemma Moss (yay!!); and of course for Dr John Potter.....The humble doorplate turns that institutional space into your place. It labels and claims the space that it guards. After reading Latour on doors (ways through walls) and door-closers (as agents), I'm now seeing office spaces in a new light. But I'm also appreciating revisiting Nicholas Burbules' work on the virtual. It's a densely packed piece, but I like his ideas on transformation. 'Eventually, the sense of inhabitance, familiarity, and comfort people feel in virtual space and time - especially when these are experienced in conjunction with the simialr engagements of other people - achieve a further qualitative shift: from virtual spaces to virtual places.' (p.174). He goes on to develop the idea of place by referring to the idea of an 'objective location' . One that becomes personally and socially meaningful. Somewhere where one can belong (or not). Burbules is useful - but I don't think he really accounts for the importance of objects and texts, or for the fact that some spaces are other people's places. That there are hostile, bad or forbidden places, too

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