The question of space, for Vilém Flusser, becomes a question of the lack of firm ground (Bodenlosigkeit) when people leave, or are forced to leave, their “hereditary” spaces. Being cut off from the ground of their natural habitats leads them to map out abstract and virtual projects which place them “outside the law,” releasing them from their familiar spheres and habitations and opening up new spaces oriented toward the future. Old divisions – such as the one between the public and the private – tend to dissolve in these new spaces; new forms of telematically mediated proximity arise, and community-building projects present themselves.
These thoughts about space – published in the early 1990s – are very early encounters with the concepts of what is known as the “spatial turn,” in which space and spatiality are conceptualized as socially produced constructs. Space is thus no longer a fixed container or “box” for life; rather, it is designed as a future-directed “bubble,” in keeping with a projecting, processual way of thinking. Attention also turns to the topos of liquefaction and dissolution, which transcends divisions – such as the one between the public and the private – and merges into a sphere of intersections and hybridizations. Networked multilocality and simultaneity of presence are phenomena that become relevant again in the discourses surrounding designs for digital networks. Conceptualized without regard to any logic of economic utility, these are “social networks” in the best sense, utopias of transcending the old boundaries of a sedentary existence and awakening to potential new projects of human coexistence.
Original article by Thomas Steinmaurer