Breaking the Boundaries of ‘Self’: Representations of Spatial Indeterminacy

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

Abstract

Bodily notions of the self, that is, the body as an existential form which occupies space, is reconsidered here in alternative ways that might be considered ‘transgressive’. The representations of various contemporary artists suggest ways in which we break out of the barriers of our bodies, extending beyond the enclosure of skin. So, too, do recent and contemporary philosophers, who offer alternatives to spatial modes of thinking, in which metaphysical comprehension and produced space helps us shift our allegiance to fixity and closure. In fact, these models of identity, as contained within contour lines or set names, suggest that the concept of ‘self’ as a spatially ‘contained’ enclosure is perhaps too limiting. With implications for architecture, and changing modes of spatial practices, this discussion moves toward an emerging aesthetic of indeterminacy. This term, ‘indeterminacy’, as applied here refers to that which is purposively blended, combined, porous, and multiply-layered; it is applied to bodies as we creatively imagine the Self that extends beyond the containment of our skins. By extension, this focus on presencing with blurred edges, so to speak, on porous models that merge body with that which is ‘not-body’, leads us to the promotion of this particular aesthetic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337–359
Number of pages23
JournalArchitecture and Culture
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

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Enclosures
esthetics
skin
Skin
containment
aesthetics
artist
comprehension
promotion
Self-representation
Indeterminacy
Aesthetics
Enclosure

Keywords

  • aesthetics of indeterminacy
  • bodily transgression
  • breaking boundaries
  • spatial porosity
  • multiplicity
  • representational space
  • art and philosophy

Cite this

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title = "Breaking the Boundaries of ‘Self’: Representations of Spatial Indeterminacy",
abstract = "Bodily notions of the self, that is, the body as an existential form which occupies space, is reconsidered here in alternative ways that might be considered ‘transgressive’. The representations of various contemporary artists suggest ways in which we break out of the barriers of our bodies, extending beyond the enclosure of skin. So, too, do recent and contemporary philosophers, who offer alternatives to spatial modes of thinking, in which metaphysical comprehension and produced space helps us shift our allegiance to fixity and closure. In fact, these models of identity, as contained within contour lines or set names, suggest that the concept of ‘self’ as a spatially ‘contained’ enclosure is perhaps too limiting. With implications for architecture, and changing modes of spatial practices, this discussion moves toward an emerging aesthetic of indeterminacy. This term, ‘indeterminacy’, as applied here refers to that which is purposively blended, combined, porous, and multiply-layered; it is applied to bodies as we creatively imagine the Self that extends beyond the containment of our skins. By extension, this focus on presencing with blurred edges, so to speak, on porous models that merge body with that which is ‘not-body’, leads us to the promotion of this particular aesthetic.",
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author = "Mary Modeen",
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Breaking the Boundaries of ‘Self’ : Representations of Spatial Indeterminacy. / Modeen, Mary.

In: Architecture and Culture, Vol. 2, No. 3, 11.2014, p. 337–359.

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

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