SPACE BODY LIFE -

BASICS AND MUTATIONS OF N55

By Lars Bang Larsen


Lars Bang Larsen is a theorist and curator who is based in Copenhagen. Lars and N55 have worked together on several occasions.
October 2003.


The artists' group answering to the moniker "The Exhibition Space" had to take a name in connection with their participation in a 1996 group show. Starting out from the Copenhagen art academy and varying in numbers, they decided to work under the non-name of N55, inspired by their then address at Nørre Farimagsgade 55 and the latitude of Copenhagen. Had their venue been in some other street, or a few degrees higher or lower, they might have been called F69 or N48. Since the mid-nineties, N55 have numbered four people who live, work and exhibit together.

Their production runs in two different tracks that are mutually dependent, hence the layout of the following text. The one leg of their production is their philosophical statement "ART AND REALITY", in which they argue for necessary relations between language, experience and the surrounding world. Some tend to see this as the formulation of a hierarchy and an ideological origin from which N55's projects spring. In my view, the one doesn't form or prefigure the other: Practice isn't subject to theory in N55. The discursive and the spatial/object-based are simultaneous and differentiating flows in N55. On the one hand you have a text, a unifying statement of logic and ratio, on the other hand you have the group's versions of everyday things and function. In this way the abstract meets the concrete, the stable meets the improvised, the identical meets the contingent. In fact, it could be argued that the two sides of N55's practice are equally experimental, the discursive aspect merely being more formally static than the other. Reading and agency supplement each other: the rationality and the orgy co-exist. It is here that the humor and lunatic force of N55 appears, rendered credible through the way they act in concrete situations and create access, excess or provocation.

It could be argued that in their quest for forming ways to counteract the capitalization of the social, N55 are merely replacing an old set of habits for a new one. There is a conservatism to this movement that their position incarnates; there must be, it is inherent to the attempt of creating a stable position inside the current capitalist-bureaucratic hegemony that thrives on the dismantling and reinvention of social space and its institutions. But as N55's movement towards the new and self-conceived is being maintained as a position, room is being made for the formulation of new differences. That is, if the idea of settling down in an N55 SPACEFRAME doesn't appeal to you, it is at least inspirational that a group of people chooses to build vehicles for exploration of this world (or the next), and to watch them take off.

This essay was first published five years ago as "Manual for N55" in Siksi The Nordic Art Review 2/1998. N55 asked me to revise it in order to take account of developments of their practice. A smaller part of it, about the SPACEFRAME, was published in Frieze 49/2000. Since I wrote these articles, N55 and I have had the possibility to continue our discussions through work and travel. This is a chance for me to present thoughts I have had on their work during the last couple of years. Apart from the weeding out of adjectives, what has changed in this version of the N55 essay? N55's production has continued and a lot of new stuff has arrived.
The SPACEFRAME was only in the making in 1998, and they were just beginning to think of the LAND project. Today we have even got N55 logs with built-in music systems that play log music! In general, N55's work has gone from a focus on the utilitarian to an appropriation of space. They haven't abandoned any of their former positions, and new ones keep mushrooming next to them.
It is significant that N55 aren't the sum total of the pieces or projects they have churned out, they are four people engaged in a concrete practice. Like the Bureau of the Surrealists, for instance, where the visitor could not only encounter surrealist objects but the Surrealists themselves, N55 are very much present.
As card-carrying artists without licence to bend steel plates or designing SPACEFRAMES, N55 take a lot of professional liberties. This is perhaps inspired by designer / scientist / engineer / poet / architect Buckminster Fuller's frontier-spirit that I also quoted in the Siksi essay: "To make the world work in the shortest possible time / Through spontaneous co-operation / Without ecological offense / Or the disadvantage of anyone". But what if it isn't about this wondrous 'functionality' at all? After all, how could somebody who reinvents the house, the toilet and the chair be a pragmatist? In the first version of the text I was going on a lot about "functional design". Both terms might be inappropriate altogether, because they denote the way things run smoothly.1 Now I tend to think that N55, on the scale that they operate and as the generalists they are, in the bigger perspective are about messing things up and short-circuiting efficacy and convenience. N55 aren't identifiable with functions or services in the traditional, or contemporary sense.

A)
Danish art history abounds with the psychology of the collaborative. It has been perceived as good to do stuff together in groups and co-ops, and to slug it out between rivaling fractions or break away and start a new group with a freer outlook than the previous one. Obviously, that has its resonance in the way society and production have been organized. However - or because of that - it wasn't until the arrival of radicalized collective forms in the 1960s that artistic collaboration found discourse.
Integrated understandings of collectivity were manifest in the interdisciplinary work of early feminist manifestations, Palle Nielsen's playground activism, Kanonklubben, and the Experimental Art School. These initiatives were all, in one way or another and to varying degrees, showdowns with aspects of modernist dogma. Of course, they didn't call it "interdisciplinary" back then, but preferred to comprehend their activities as activism or anti-establishment efforts, predicated on purer artistic or political ideologies.
In N55's case, the death of the author by collectivity has given rise to a multiplied authorial subjectivity that dismisses the art market's mysterious ways. The group doesn't sell to private collectors or galleries, but let their work be used by public art institutions according to the open source principle that also governs their individual projects. I recently wandered around a group show and came across N55's work.
Exceptionally, the title sign didn't say "Courtesy of Gallery NN", but "Courtesy of the artists". That is a good mark.
As Fuller once concluded, there are plenty of resources on Spaceship Earth. That is, if we don't squander them on weapons or waste them on fripperies, made and marketed by his imaginary corporate nemesis, Obnoxico. As the virtual Obnoxico's actual counterpart, N55's ambition is to regenerate the social. Their magnification of artistic behavior meets a Fullerian emphasis on non-specialization and generalized knowledge. Social space demands a great diversity of knowledge, but N55's back catalogue of art pieces with ethical and aesthetic consequences is of their own design and manufacture, in some cases with the help of experts to solve technical problems. Their production ranges from furniture to items related to dwelling and transport, such as the N55 SPACEFRAME or the multifunctional SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM, and the service modules PUBLIC THINGS. More recent projects in real and cyber-space are LAND, ROOMS and SHOP, and the organizationally slanted projects YTEICOS, MOVEMENT and WORK. All projects are re-formulations of everyday life's elementary functions and spaces. They are produced to be lived with, not just for being contemplated.
This unabashed and somewhat grotesque ambition creates a growing and increasingly finely meshed net of objects, spaces and networks. Just think that in a corner of Copenhagen, every thing and function is being systematically re-invented by four artists, a new organic synthesis of everything from lipsticks to locomotives! There is surely more surplus in a project like that than in the defensive ideologies of the 100% society.2
The style of N55's small parliament of social design imparts a popular standard to the objects. Even in their hands-on approach to art making, one can even detect a look of glitzy appropriation strategies in that floating SPACEFRAME, like Jeff Koons' basketball in a water tank. Both are sexy. But whereas one represents a kind of zero degree of consumerism, the other one enacts a social equilibrium.
Their work is a sort of minimalism with a social conscience, or a minimalism that has reopened its recourse to economy and (re)production. Dan Graham once said about the strip lights of Dan Flavin: "The components of a particular exhibition, upon its termination, are replaced in another situation - perhaps put to a non-art use as a part of a different whole in a different time." However, N55's work doesn't commute between art and life, occupying now the one, then the other position, but describes a phasing out of the separation between works of art and products. However, a dimension of artistic autonomy is maintained in order to outstrip the state and society's received ideas and introduce responsibility into the sphere of artistic autonomy.3
N55's art has something of the fantastic about it. It conjures up images of science fiction films: intergalactic voyagers stranded on some inhospitable asteroid who, through science and ingenuity, attain a quality of life unheard of at home. And sure enough, in order to begin anew there is for every element in N55's production an appurtenant manual with information and technical data. A score for the reproduction of the element in question, the manual demonstrates that anybody who so desires can build and install, for example, the CLEAN AIR MACHINE. The manuals' reeling-off of data encourages resource-transfers among consumption, time, work and material; the production cost of the HOME HYDROPONIC UNIT, for example, corresponds to what it would be to splash out on a Bang & Olufsen television set or to buy a new fridge. N55's pieces and projects are destined to be reproduced and taken further by other users and inventors, not to be exchanged or traded. The manuals indicate that the process is participatory - that it can be carried out at home, without the aid of the artists. In effect, the manuals outline a constructive rationality upon which you can engage in social fantasy. The manuals are also a strategy of unmasking the thing inside the art object and to show that it has a relatively stable, qualitatively distinct use value. Capitalism's differential systems of consumer alternatives are countered with an aggregate system in which the object answers back at human activity. An open source strategy to find out if there is life outside of commercial and privatized circuits.
N55 don't patent or in other ways monopolize their output. When elements are appropriated, they are re-combined and permutated, twisted in the direction of the new, unexpected or awkward. The accumulated technologies of N55 extend a re-visioning of the way we usually go about things, a critique of the present rather than a faith in the future.
"Solutions", "Social fantasy" - Is this a utopian project, then? Strictly speaking, no. An utopian ambition describes a distance to be covered and overcome in the gap between the existing reality and the progressive aim of the new topia, the social order that is striven towards. N55, however, incarnate an inhabited concrete practice, not a nowhere. Their ideas are there for the taking, to be used and recreated by users, as they themselves use and recreate what the world and the imagination have to offer. The temporal movement that utopian ideologies usually exclude by fixating its promise in stagnation is acknowledged and incorporated; in this way N55 work with the grain of the utopian promise's impossible temporality, and keep it on the move. They don't create anything at the price of its own development. Things keep mutating between the hands of the group, and new ideas are absorbed and regurgitated that take their practice elsewhere.
N55 can only be said to be utopian in the original literary sense, as the first culturally legitimated and conventionally accepted form of social criticism. Satirical writers could live in safety by using the utopian as a narrative device. This contributed to a fundamental change in the way stories were told, by introducing the seemingly naïve narrator who finds everything under the firmament surprising, wonderful or amazing. Faced with the way N55's gadgets respond to the activities that surround them, the viewer/participant feels like a utopian narrator on a fascinating journey that leads to subversive discoveries and a satire on current hegemonies.
A critique of urbanism and architecture is incorporated, Situationist-style, in N55. Living is emphasized as an act and the house as a piece of service-equipment, not a monument. The N55 SPACEFRAME - of which N55 inhabit a floating version in the Copenhagen harbor - insists as oddly parasitic to urban space, a different kind of role maker. Its unfamiliar appearance is in keeping with its radical adaptability, independent of local styles. Like other examples of alternative, "universal" notions of housing - from the products of Buckminster Fuller to those of Matti Suuronen - the N55 SPACEFRAME looks like it would be as comfortable in the suburbs as in a rain forest (though it doesn't exactly beg for a garden gnome or an elephant door mat to be placed by the entrance). Configured with harmonious formal self-sufficiency as a truncated tetrahedron, it has no cast foundations, no right angles or window frames. The door is a sort of docking hatch, and the whole construction is flatly symmetrical - as if the entire structure could be knocked on its side and still function. The primitive, crystalline geometry is independent of scale (the N55 SPACEFRAME could vary in scale and still convey the same sensibility) and hints at the flexible logic of its construction suggesting the possible multiplication of this type of geometric architecture.
This is not unimaginable. A version of the N55 SPACEFRAME could be mounted "by anybody", N55 promises, using small, light weight components that can be easily manufactured and reassembled without damage. For the cost of an average car, the N55 SPACEFRAME can be assembled by hand without the use of cranes or other heavy tools. It has no need for exterior maintenance, and it has the potential for zero energy consumption - heating being provided by proper insulation and sunlight, and by cooking and the physical activity of its occupants.
Pragmatics, as well as Georges Perec's idea that triangular space is "as spectacular as it is gratuitous", underpin the basic shape of the N55 SPACEFRAME. The triangle recurs in N55's bed, table and chair, and other objects, like some highly polished, intelligent LEGO system. Its design is based on the principle of the octet truss, an extendable, modifiable structure that obtains the greatest strength with a minimum of materials (In this case thin, bent steel struts). The octet truss is a recurring constructive element in DYNAMIC CHAIR, SUSPENDED PLATFORM and MODULAR BOAT. The sculptural formulations of the octet truss assume serene, abstract qualities in the repetition of elements: in the play of light on the convex accents of each outside plate on the N55 SPACEFRAME, and in the irregularities brought about by slight variations in the coloring of the floor plates and the interior wall covering. If you don't quite know what to make of the N55 SPACEFRAME from the outside, the inside doesn't offer much spatial familiarity either. The weightlessness you feel in the pyramid-like interior is due to the confounding of our spatial expectations - that it should be rectangular, and that the ground plane will be repeated as a ceiling a couple of feet above our heads, supported by fixed, even walls that don't allow your decisions to become an active part of the architecture.
Unlike the world's different prestige museums, millennium domes or other monuments, the N55 SPACEFRAME also works as a cloud of conjecture - as art and reality. On your way to dropping in on N55 in their shimmering and steely sea abode, you will pass the Christiania district with its Pusher Street and architectonic half breeds (at the time of writing once again under government threat to be cleared out if they don't clean up their act), the School of Architecture with adjacent building sites for upmarket flats and for the new opera (a tax deductible 'gift' to the city from a shipping tycoon). On the other side of a naval base, among a variety of houseboats, the N55 SPACEFRAME appears in the dock like a crystal that is the tip of a new civilization rising from the ocean, or like the drifting emergency shuttle of some submarine vehicle wrecked during exploration of the deep seas. After having hung out in the bobbing N55 SPACEFRAME like a sea Bedouin, treated to wine or a few beers, you will feel rather elevated when you make your way back onto dry land. And slightly bobbing yourself.
 
B)
On the discursive side, N55 have developed their text ART AND REALITY influenced by philosopher Peter Zinkernagel's work on logical relations.
With Zinkernagel, and his work's affinities to Niels Bohr and the later Wittgenstein, N55 propose a third alternative to the traditions of materialism and idealism.
Within the parameters of logical relations, the opposition between language, logic and concepts, on the one hand, and experience and reality, on the other, is rejected.
According to Zinkernagel, knowing a language entails that one can propose correct postulates. Since every technical, scientific, or philosophical apparatus of concepts presupposes an array of everyday language definitions, any technical, scientific, or philosophical language must uphold these rules. Otherwise, he says, we end up with meaningless assumptions. As N55 and Zinkernagel write:

"We assume that there are no other conditions for deciding whether something is right or wrong except that one does not contradict oneself nor is inconsistent with facts. Beyond this there exist only more or less thoroughly grounded, subjective opinions. However, there is a level so basic that it normally does not appear in our conscious mind, where everything does not revolve around subjective opinions.
At this level things are simply right or wrong.
Logical relations are the most basic and the most overlooked phenomena we know. Logical relations mean that nothing of which we can talk rationally can exist, can be identified or referred to, except through its relations to other things. Logic is necessary relations between different factors, and factors are what exist by force of those relations. The decisive thing about logical relations is that they cannot be reasoned.
Nevertheless, they do constitute conditions necessary for any description, because they cannot be denied without rejecting the factors that are part of the relations. One logical relation is the relation between persons and bodies. It makes no sense referring to a person without referring to a body. When we for example say, here we have a person, but he or she does not have a body, it does not make sense. Furthermore, there are necessary relations between persons and the rights of persons. Persons should be treated as persons and therefore as having rights. If we deny this assertion it goes wrong: here is a person, but this person should not be treated as a person, or: here is a person, who should be treated as a person, but not as having rights.
Therefore we can only talk about persons in a way that makes sense if we know that persons have rights."4

N55 situate their proposal for proving logically that people have rights in a productive present. Since their art is communal, N55 are their own most powerful example. Insofar as the distinction between thought and action is broken down, the DYNAMIC CHAIR, for example, says and does just as much in N55's aggregate assertion as the logical relations says and does. They are merely different set-ups within the generalized domain of everyday life.

"It becomes of decisive importance to find ways to live and behave which correspond to our knowledge of persons, the rights of persons, etc. It is obvious that artists too must be conscious of persons, the rights of persons, and the influence of concentrations of power and thus must be concerned with politics. It is obvious (...) that also artists must first and foremost be concerned with the conscious making of what we know and of attempts to live and behave in correspondence with what we know and try to organize in as small concentrations of power as possible. In this way we have a case where the fundamental ethical norm and thus ethics become decisive for aesthetics (...) In a way that makes room for persons and that which has significance to them in their daily life."

Partial truth-values, at least at this "fundamental level", are countered by N55's and Zinkernagel's unyielding philosophical argument. At a point when, institutionally speaking, post-structuralism has played out its critical potential, N55 occupy a constructivist position. Their power critique works in tandem with a desire to build, produce, imagine. These positive components are required in order to maintain art's independence and drive - especially, perhaps, with regard to the way art and business these years are seen to perform a shotgun wedding. Naked criticality isn't enough. It ends up as mere parasitism.

Richard Sennett has characterized the new forms of capitalist organization succinctly: today, he writes, power is concentrated but decentralized.5 That is, after nation states have been phased out by global capitalism, power has become elusive and placeless. You can't ambush it to give it a good kicking. But it is for sure that somewhere - probably right behind you - it is there, growing stronger, smoother and more flexible by the day.

The desire to form a countervailing terrain to global capital is manifest in the LAND project, started in 2000. More than land as (non-)site or material, the principle of ownership of land is here used against itself, to set land free. Seeing that ownership of land is one of the most pernicious forms of accumulation and the basis of fundamental forms of exclusion, people are encouraged to donate land they own to add up to a LAND, a global non-nation, which can be accessed and used by everybody. LAND is also - finally! - the deliquescence of patriotism. Fredric Jameson wonders about the properties of ownership:

"[...] Violence was no doubt always implicit in the very conception of ownership as such when applied to the land; it is a peculiarly ambivalent mystery that mortal beings, generations of dying organisms, should have imagined they could somehow 'own' parts of the earth in the first place."6

Among the various dis-owned strips of land that add up to the tortoiseshell of LAND are American desert, Danish villa garden, a Norwegian island and an Illinois strip of land between curb and pavement. Their co-ordinates have their own mathematical poetry:

"Sæby, Denmark, 57 degrees north/ 10 degrees east
Chicago, USA, 41 degrees north/87 degrees east
San Diego, USA, 33 degrees north/ 117 degrees east"

The question is, of course, what will happen when land in this way is set free from the regulations that accompany ownership, and on which most aspects of the public space / private space divide is predicated. The LAND project is a re-imagining of the notions of access and use of land; in extension of that it is also an anarchistic re-introduction of the notion of global citizenship. Of course, the patches of LAND won't be lawless white spots on the map as they will sort under the existing jurisdictions of the countries in which they are situated. LAND is a challenge to disabling ideas of how we need ownership to maintain order and regulation; in that perspective it is a psycho-geographical piece as much as anything. It is up to its users to make time and space meet, without the overbearing mental framework of deeds and proprietors.
In the terms of Henri Lefebvre, the French ex-Situationist and philosopher of space, the LAND project is the appropriation of space before any ideology or superstructure can overlay that space. Interestingly, Lefebvre's definition of appropriation also addresses the question of ownership:
"Property in the sense of possession is at best a necessary precondition, and most often merely an epiphenomenon, of 'appropriative' activity, the highest expression of which is the work of art. An appropriated space resembles a work of art, which is not to say that it is in any sense an imitation work of art. Often such a space is a structure - a monument or building - but this is not always the case: a site, a square or a street may also be legitimately described as an appropriated space."7

The gates between art and life have opened and an appropriated space "resembles a work of art". Similarly, Lefebvre's notion of spatial production through appropriation is based on sharing space with whomever is in that space, regardless of gender, race or class. In accordance with its Marxist component, Lefebvre's thinking is closely linked with the possibilities for agency in a historical present. The pincer-movement politics of N55's two-tiered artistic practice can be seen as the relief of (Foucauldian) queer theory and ID-politics, by virtue of their discourse's fundamental critique of power. N55 prefer to speak about persons' rights in terms of general conditions. Out goes the focus on identity and discussions predicated on the body. The correlates of particular identities are suspended in N55's power critique that instead offers a general analysis of subjectivity.8
When no heed is paid to the spatial relations that inhere in social facts, and when social space is represented as disjointed segments, knowledge misses its target. Lefebvre's brand of Marxism described a move away from the object and into space, a movement that N55 could be said to share on the formal level. However, as stated earlier, they maintain the work with art things concurrently with their spatial projects. The concerns of SHOP and WORK comprise both aspects, in their attempt at developing non-monetary forms of object and service exchange, as a redistribution of the resources of social space. Lefebvre writes that the logical form belongs to those abstract forms which don't depend on description,

"[...] and which are inseparable from a content. Among these, in addition to the logical form, must be numbered identity, reciprocity, recurrence, repetition (iteration), and difference."9

This goes a long way to explain the form, function and structure of the implementation of N55's projects at the level of social practice, exchange and social space. Their project is an operation of sameness and difference that makes it flicker between being an institutional parasite and host organism, and propels it forward by the convictions of a content-based logic to new permutations in the meeting with new people and places.
N55's artistic strategies ultimately displace discussions of originality and creative copyright. Art and the knowledge pertaining to its forms are represented as common knowledge, social freeware. It is of no essential interest who has done this or signed that: rather than existing in an art-historical time bubble, N55 aim to be operational with their artistic concepts in real time. In fact, one of their manuals spell it out: "There is no reason to request art to continue to find new forms." That, as it were, would merely be another habit.
Georges Perec gets the final word, on the subject of the habitual and its dislodgement. What needs to be done?

"To question the habitual. But that's just it, we're habituated to it. We don't question it, it doesn't question us, it doesn't seem to pose a problem, we live it without thinking, as if it carried within it neither questions nor answers, as if it weren't the bearer of any information. This is no longer even conditioning, it's anaesthesia. We sleep through our lives in a dreamless sleep. But where is our life? Where is our body? Where is our space?"10


Notes:

1 In the journalistic use of the term design, but also in mainstream design practices, there is a willingness to relate the development of new products to the existing system of production. The design aspect of N55 is affiliated with a traditional European avant-garde view that considers the artist/designer to be in control of the product, and that favors experimentation which will lead to objects that don't exist as yet (as for example Moholy-Nagy, during his time as a design teacher in Chicago, propounded the belief that designing was a way of life, rather than vocational training). Specifically, the group's position on design exceeds the notion of a modernization of form and material and represents an integrated stance with regard to how disciplines (ethics, science, art) meet everyday life. N55's objects (and ambient projects) come with a statement, not just a style. (See for example Victor Margolin: The Struggle for Utopia: Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy 1917-1946. P. 217 and 228. The University of Chicago Press, 1997).

2 In Palle Nielsen's essay from 1971, Anklage - og Forsvar (Accusation - and Defence) is an evaluation of the social failure of the satellite towns. He states the case that since urban planners have been recruited amongst the elite, they have constituted themselves as guardians of those without liberty of choice. Nielsen takes on the voice of a B-class citizen relegated to the concrete suburbs of 70s Copenhagen to foresee what we could call the 100 % society - the illusion of freedom through the availability and ownership of consumer goods: 'We have bought all the goods that we should. You saw for yourselves that 90 % of us have television, 65 % of us own a car and 50 % a summer house. In a few years time we will probably all have 100 % of everything - and we will still be sitting here looking out the window.' In the 100 % society, space is determined by private ownership and our relationship to objects; it is full of things and their highly determined relations and can therefore only with difficulty be appropriated, in Henri Lefebvre's sense. In: Meninger om mennesker og miljø, s. 41. Statens Byggeforskningsinstitut, København 1971, p. 114.

3 More precisely, autonomy as understood in the sense that John Roberts here discusses it: "...the autonomy of the aesthetic has been widely misunderstood by the left. Autonomy implies not self-sufficiency and self-reflexiveness but 'the mark of art to be more than cultural symptom'.", Art has no History! The making and unmaking of modern art, ed. John Roberts, p. 29. Verso, London 1994.

4 ART AND REALITY.

5 The Corrosion of Character. Norton, New York 1998, p. 47.

6 The Antinomies of Postmodernity, in: The Cultural Turn. Selected Writings on the Postmodern, 1983-1998, Verso, London, 1999, p. 66.

7 The Production of Space, Blackwell, Oxford 1991, p. 165.

8 N55's power critique operates with a notion of totality, then, somewhat against the grain of dominating trends. Frederic Jameson states that there is currently a 'taboo on totality' in relation to the 'social determinants that enable or shut down thought', and asks 'why it is that 'concepts of totality' have seemed necessary and unavoidable at certain historical moments, and on the contrary noxious and unthinkable at other.' Marxism and Postmodernism (first published 1989), ibid. p. 39.

9 Lefebvre, p. 149. This is probably what Marxists would call the sign-system's materiality; that there is a material necessity to signification. As TJ Clark writes, 'Everything about the forces and relations of symbolic production under capitalism encourages the fantasy that meanings are the product of a self-enclosed circuit or system, opening nowhere onto the realm of necessity. Pure presence wars eternally with pure absence, the latter winning hands down.' (Farewell to an Idea, Yale University Press, London 1999, p. 260).

10 L'Infra-ordinaire, in: Species of Space and Other Pieces, p. 206. Penguin, New York 1998.



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