Artworks are often thought of as unified wholes (Levine 2015). But the whole, understood as a barrier and an inside space, a container, is defined by what it is not – the outside. As Derrida (1981) reminds us, there can be no inside without a constitutive outside. The closed container is never perfect, the outside remains, and in this seminar, we turn our focus to the foundational porousness of space – how the same dynamic that constitutes the division into the inside and the outside allows for their interaction, their interbleeding. Recent spatial and environmental theory has been increasingly interested in challenging discreteness and boundedness as interpretive horizons; concepts such as entanglement, turbulence, or the mesh provide suggestive metaphors for a range of new approaches to literary and cultural analysis, from geopoetics to material ecocriticism and the blue humanities.
In this one-day symposium, we are interested in what thematically, textually, rhetorically, and cognitively porous, permeable, interpenetrative, leaky, and drafty spaces can afford for the analysis and experience of arts and cultural artefacts. These porous spaces can be literal and symbolic interplays between insides and outsides, such as buildings, individuals, nations, and texts. Porous space can be named interstitial space, the threshold, or the spatial hinge; it can refer to “the bleeding of texts into and out of actual-world sites” (Thurgill 2021, 154). We are also interested in the forces that puncture the barrier between spaces, and the channels that let the inside trickle out and vice versa.
Research group Spatial Studies and Environmental Humanities (Plural Research Centre, ITC Faculty, Tampere University)
Johannes Riquet (firstname.lastname@example.org)