Larval Subjects on Spatio-Temporal Cartographies

Levi Bryant gives a hint of where his work might go next here. From the post it’s clear his book The Democracy of Objects is just about done, and he’s now thinking about space and time. He mentions a few geographers he’s been reading, and clearly there is a lot of overlap in terms of interest. The session at the 2011 Association of American Geographers I publicised last week is a good example of this. You should read Levi’s whole post, but here’s a taster…

Insofar as OOO is committed to the thesis that at its most basic level being is composed of substances, it follows that time and space can no longer be conceived as milieus or containers in which objects exist, but rather that time and space, or spatio-temporality must be seen as arising from relations between and among objects. Second, insofar as all objects are operationally closed such that they only possess selective relations to the world, it follows that what we ordinary think of as a spatial relation– for example a relation of proximity –is not sufficient to establish that there is, indeed, a spatio-temporal relation between two entities. In other words, two entities might appear to share a spatio-temporal relation to one another, but it is not evident that there truly is a spatial relation between these two entities.

While the first is close to where some of the work in critical/theoretical geography has been for a while; the second is, I think, the more significant challenge. That – to me – is not yet worked through in the post; rather the examples reinforce the first claim. My sense is that the plural, relational notions of spatial-temporal connections work, but the doubt that “there truly is a spatial relation” in some cases remains to be demonstrated. It seems that the relation may be complicated, remote, not what we thought, etc. but that doesn’t mean that its not there in some form. I should also stress that on the first, the relational notion of time is particularly interesting. Levi says there are early thoughts and I’m curious where this will go.

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