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Species of Spaces (2002-2006)

Submitted by on September 5, 2007 – 4:17 pm

First published to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of Georges Perec’s untimely death, Species of Spaces an ongoing series of eBooks published by Proboscis which are inspired by and in homage to Perec’s eponymous book, Espèces d’espaces.

Each of the commissions is a speculative contemplation on how space is occupied in the contemporary world of the twenty-first century; virtual and physical spaces, emotional and social spaces – what Perec called the ‘infra-ordinary’. The authors – who range from an architect, artist, critic, social scientist, filmmaker, novelist and a sound artist – each address these issues from different points of view, but ultimately a thread runs though all: how we negotiate our relationships to space and place, culture and community, knowledge and identity.

As technologies such as mobile phones and wireless computing become ever more embedded in our everyday lives, these relationships will become ever more uncertain, ever more negotiated moment by moment. Many of these shifts are barely perceptible, and the promise of seamless integration of the virtual and the physical belies the fundamental changes that this collapse of abstract space into sensory space both indicates and brings about.

To reflect the sense of ever-shifting negotiations on spatial habitation, SPECIES OF SPACES is growing into a longer series of meditations – always with a Perecquian eye to the playful, the absurd and the experimental. As Perec himself sought to categorise and then re-categorise spaces and his relationships to them (for instance see also his works: Penser/Classer, L’Infra-ordinaire, Je me souviens), so we will continue to question what space is and how we inhabit it.

Giles Lane
May 2003

Publisher: Proboscis
Publication Dates:
3rd March 2002, 30 May 2003, 30 June 2005, November 2006
Series Editors: Giles Lane
Design: Paul Farrington (Studio Tonne) & Nima Falatoori
Funded by London Arts Publishing New Writing Award (2002 & 2003).

Caroline Bassett, Raoul Bunschoten, Heath Bunting, Nina Czegledy, Scott deLahunta, John Foot, William Firebrace, Anne Galloway, Melanie Jackson, Patrick Keiller, Brandon LaBelle, Lisa LeFeuvre, Deborah Levy, Simon Pope, Anne Sobotta and Minna Tarkka.

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