Of Other Space

Of Other Space – The butcher Shop

Xin Zhang

As Foucault state in his speech, “The daily life of individuals was regulated, not by the whistle, but by the bell. Everyone was awakened at the same time, everyone began work at the same time…” (1967) Nowadays, we experience globalization and civilization of colonization. We can always find the UK in America, Paris in Morocco, Spain in China. It is marvellous that we can live as “others”; we can exist as “others”. When a place is no longer a place, and human cannot think about themselves, what do we exist for? And space as a container for what? Based on this phenomenon, heterotopia, as the congregation of experience/knowledge space, also beyond the extensions of places, is one of the junctions of the structure/substance which can approach the origins of the world.

For example, relax as one of the human activities. People utilize bed to contain the relax person. However, people also “relax” in other space, then more objects that can be “relaxed” have been created so that people can “relax”. The identity/being of human might not change with the same activity, but activities of human are the reason that causes objects changed. Therefore, the being/origin of human can be traced by the classification of objects. Also, the substance of objects can be discovered by the activities of human.

Additionally, based on the orders of things revealed by Foucault and the frame of collective memory proposed by Halbwachs, human as the ontology of “knowledge/experience”. Therefore, the essay defines objects as the representations of “human”; space as the representation of the transcendental “knowledge/experience” from pre-human; word as the representation/ description of the space.

The representations of objects are diversified by the participation of human activities. Meanwhile, space as a container for these objects and frequency human activities are also classified as different specific places.

The project aims to excavate the orders of objects/words and bases on this order to inference the potential orders/relates of human and space. The project aims to trace the position of the butcher shop and the projection of human how they reflect there shadows through the ontology of objects/space which is covered by experience/cognition. The project will reproduce an audience’s perception to describe/observe “the other space of butcher shop”(in the significance of heterotopia) with gestures which can be regarded as one of the forms of discourse(sign) to depict the being of space.

From the history we can trace, Hunting is the way how human get food(for a living) initially. Nowadays, almost all human in the world walked into a site (heterotopia) called “supermarket” to get food. From slaughter to the consumer, butcher shop as the interruption7 between site(supermarket) and emplacement(slaughterhouse)8 to fill this discontinuity of history.

“In our time, nevertheless, the slaughterhouse is cursed and quarantined like a plague-ridden ship. ” (Bataille, 1929)

The interruption of the butcher shop is reflected in two parts.

1. Space. Cover the existence/bloody of the slaughterhouse. Refuse the reproduction/erosion of industry, but a humanised supermarket.

2. Human. Cover human identity from “slaughter” and transform it into a congregation of “the audience of slaughtering and consumer”.

“Food serves as a vehicle for the recreation of this world, which is constituted of meanings and definitions as much as it is of objects.”(Petridou, 2001) In the butcher shop, we chose meats, display meat and treat meats. Butcher shop is constituted by meats and the objects associated with meats. Therefore, it is not only meat(food) but also the objects in butcher shop recreate the world and become the substance of the world. Besides, as I stated at the end of chapter one, The experience/ knowledge of the same human activity can be the order of objects. If we compare objects in the butcher shop with objects in slaughterhouse and supermarket, then find the similarities of those objects in same huamn activities, we might approach the ontology of those objects(butcher shop); the origins of experience/knowledge in consuming/ slaughtering(human); the being of the world.

We are tending to live in a homogeneous world. Through the representations of objects become diverse, the origins of the objects shift from heterogeneous to unified/massive. They are transited to “everywhere” in the world. Everywhere is literal “everywhere” in the geographic layer. It demonstrates each separated space without significance, but artificial code.

These spaces are relative/interlace sites where construct the world as a vast net until it becomes a smooth, seamless platform. Post-knowledge/ experience will be the same consequence of transcendental knowledge/ experience. They all tend to the origin, but one is the start of the diversity; the other is the end of diversity. Now we are on the way of unifying. It does not aim to critic/point the process where we are, but evoke human themselves to realize where they are standing and how they walked to this position.

That is the reason why I design this “of others’ butcher shop”. It is a heterotopia of the original butcher shop. For the audience, I try to use an inclusive/explicit way to describe the ontology of the butcher shop, then tell them what is occupying the space(where am I?) And how they constructed a space(Who am I?) The project aims to support a perception from thick fog for the audience to observe the space, the history and themselves.

In the project, Metaphor is not only used to recreate space but also viewed as the feature of the language to communicate and describe. However, how to concrete it as a kind of discourse for utilizing? “An arbitrary system of signs must permit the analysis of things into their simplest elements; it must be capable of decomposing them into their very origins.”(Foucault, 1966) After decomposing the phenomena of objects above, the translated objects are not the original objects, but multi-significance/metaphorical/coherent substance.

Link: https://vimeo.com/359774412



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