Data Representation: Spatial Practice
Concepts in Human Geography -
“On Space and Spatial Practice in Contemporary Geography” by Michael Curry.
My notes from the article:
Four main notions of space:
1. Aristotle: static, hierarchical, concrete. A concept of place.
2. Newton: grid within which objects are located and events occur.
3. Leibniz: Newton’s scientific outlook combined with Aristotle’s relational space.
4. Kant: space is a form imposed on the world by humans.
- Concept of being “out of place”— “we live in a hierarchical world where things and people have places where they belong.”
Medieval painting to painting in the Renaissance:
- Seemingly unreal perspective and arrangement of objects and people in space. But in fact it was indicative of social or religious importance.
- Question of the reason for creating a space, need to explain why an object might be here or there.
- Space consists of the relations among extended objects.
- Lays out a way of thinking about the act of acquiring knowledge that made it possible to see the knower as standing outside of any possible situation and viewing it from that detached position.
Newton and Absolute Space:
- Absolute motion: translate a body from one absolute place into another. Relative motion: translation from one relative place into another.
- Space is relational but consists just in those relations and nothing else (not absolute).
But… Kant says:
- Space is a condition of our understanding the outside world— all of our perceptions of the world are already spatial and we will never be able to get beyond our own perceptions.
- Space as a container for regions.
New French theory - 1970s:
- Space is about human experience of it. Nonhuman space is irrelevant.
Gould and Downs:
- “mental map” theory
- Space is a human construction. Place is a human construction.
- Locality movement:
- Geography and gender.
- Anything goes
We see the world in terms of objects and events.
- If you are out of place, you are a subject of research. If in place, then invisible.
- Renaissance painting’s perspective shows a closed system that is Euclidian - nothing else in the world matters.
- Kant: all about the observer.
In fact, we’re all four systems…
- Aristotle in daily life: things are here, not there, real, palpable hierarchies.
- Newton in reflections on space as something vast and directionless, timeless and unaffected by what we do.
- Leibniz conceptual systems to comprehend the world.
- Kant in that we are looking at everything for our own unique perspective.