Central to Martin Heidegger’s critique of modern technology is the transformation of “things” into “objects.” This article will apply some of the insights gained by Actor-Network-Theory to the several bridges in Budapest, with a special focus on the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, in order to argue that modern technology and the creations of that technology can also be “things” in the Heideggerian sense of the term. The result is a view of bridges that is firmly grounded in the physical and geographic impact that bridges can have on space and place. The use of ANT also reveals that Heidegger and one of his main critics, Bruno Latour, are not as far apart in their thought as the latter might contend.
This article is concerned with the political implications of Ralph Erskine’s redevelopment of the Byker estate in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the United Kingdom. In it I attempt to provide a theoretical analysis of the architectures and environmental planning procedures operating in Byker, using the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari to consider the impact of the re-development on the spaces within Newcastle and upon the bodies of the residents of the area. Ralph Erskine had been concerned with using the redevelopment to improve the quality of life on the estate and to introduce a positive political relation to the spaces and buildings on the development, however, as this paper will show, the upheavals in the social organisation of city life in Britain at large have negated the positive effects of his redevelopment philosophy and led to the reterritorialisation of a regressive and isolating politics of social organisation across the city spaces of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
This paper argues against evolutionary accounts of aesthetics by defending the idea that our fundamental aesthetic categories have undergone great changes in the last two millennia, in particular, during an “artistic revolution” that lasted from 1680 to 1830. This revolution was made possible by the development of a number of technologies of art that created a separate cultural space for this new invention. The attempt to extend this revolution to include the aesthetic appreciation of the natural environment is aided by a new set of technologies that help make an aesthetic object out of natural environments. This even more recent development is further evidence against an evolutionary explanation of art.
Ideas developed within the philosophical tradition of phenomenology can be used to describe the experience of talking on the phone. In particular, I build on a contemporary brand of phenomenology called “postphenomenology,” a school of thought which specializes in the analysis of the relationships that form between users and technologies. Three central concepts are reviewed and developed: transparency, sedimentation, and what I call “field composition.” These concepts can be used for the description of the way that the content of a telephone conversation can come to stand forward and capture a user’s overall field of awareness. I suggest that this account of the experience of the telephone can be useful for analyzing issues in scientific research and public policy regarding the topic of using the phone while driving.
Charlie HAILEY, Treillage’d Space: Tuning Person and Place in the Porches of Alison and Peter Smithson
Late in their architectural career, Alison and Peter Smithson designed an eighty-square-foot, indoor-outdoor space for a man and his cat. The Smithsons described this modest space in methodological and phenomenal terms, noting that the addition to Axel Bruchhäuser’s Hexenhaus could be read “as an exemplar of a method by which a small physical change—a layering-over of air adhered to an existing fabric—can bring about a delicate tuning of persons with place.” The Hexenhaus’ tuning elements—second skin, tree screen, and double-acting mesh—create a “treillage’d space” that supplants mediation, reframes attunement, and elicits an active weaving of person, place, and phenomena. This paper seeks to understand what the architects meant by “tuning” and in the process to outline operations for spatial weaving.