vii. The Designer and the Relater: A Dialogue on Space

Space is physical, and time is the relater. Nothing happens without time. Through it, matter encounters other matter, including space, and were it not for time, entities would remain static, their relationship to the world rendered void. Without the passing of time for the study of an object, it will remain untouched, untransformed, and useless. Consequently, space does not play any significant role in the relations between objects, besides the obvious act of playing neighbor, for space is an object in itself. Time is the relater, narrating the story of Spaceship Earth and transforming the many systems within systems that define it.

But why can we not feel space?

A man walks into a barren room. In the room stands another man of similar stature. On either side of him are two contraptions, aesthetically alien to the visiting man. The resident man addresses the visitor, “To my left is a fully automated pistol. It’s chambers are fully loaded and the firing mechanism fully cocked. To my right is a fully automated air cannon. Its chamber is fully compressed. Today, one of these cannons will discharge their ammunition towards your person. The choice belongs to you; I trust you will use both reason and logic in deciding which trajectory to interrupt.

Dumbfounded and confused, the visitor answers without a moments hesitation, “I choose the gust of air.”

This fictional anecdote, however improbable a scenario, would invariably result in the same conclusion on the part of the visitor, regardless of circumstances. It fundamentally illustrates reasoning and use of logic based purely on hard wired empirical knowledge, urging the visitor to remember that because the composite parts of the bullet are denser than those of the air, the impact from the metal object will cause a greater sensation. However fatal it may be, a bullet wound remains a sensation, just like the feather-like touch of a gust of air. The two sensations simply differ in both speed and projectile composition. Consequently, we can deduce that sensations greatly vary with regards to their intensity and impact; a statement supported by simple common sense. From this stems a hypothesis on the colossal object that is the space that surrounds us.

If man can potentially encounter medium impact sensations, such as a gust of air, and if man can potentially encounter massive impact sensations, such as a bullet, then will he not indubitably encounter sensations throughout the spectrum? Will he not then, although unknowingly, encounter minute impact sensations; sensations that employ composition matter scattered to the extent that their density, and therefore material existence, is simply undetectable by our human capacities? This is space.

So I asked myself: Do I write stuff for specific rooms? Do I have a place, a venue, in mind when I write? Is that a kind of model for creativity? Do we all make things with a venue, a context, in mind?

How Architecture Helped Music Evolve, David Byrne, 02.2010, ted.com

So what difference whether space is defined as object or intangible field in which objects relate? Because unlike an intangible field, an object in itself is something that can be fully examined by man in order to be fully understood. By definition, an intangible phenomenon can never be fully understood, rendering it pointless and troublesome with regards to an ideal living environment. And by way of this outlook, comes our realization of the importance of our mobile capacities in the study of this environment. Only by searching for the adequate mobility extensions, will man, the astronaut, set forth to fully understand space, the object. Astronauto is this search.

The serious complacency which is afforded by the sense of truth, utility, permanence, and progression, blends with and ennobles the exhilarating surprise and the pleasurable sting of curiosity, which accompany the propounding and the solving of an enigma. It is the sense of a principle of connection given by the mind, and sanctioned by the correspondency of nature.

p. 471, The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Friend, Vol. 4, Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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