The digital world relativery the concept of proximity": Alexander Filippov on the sociology of space

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— As interaction between people of color the physical space or give it meaning?

— The question itself indicates a problem. At first glance — and I'm not saying that first glance all one and the same, but it is very widely distributed — it looks that way: there is a physical space, or space things, and there are people who perceive these things differently and in different ways they are used. For example, if in the same space one can arrange the arena, concert hall, Museum and the infirmary — this is a typical case of such "colouring" of space. Such examples can cause a lot, but they will all be the same type or very similar meaning.

To show the problem, I would like to start with an example of a different kind.

Several years ago we conducted a little research on the Manege square in Moscow. Working with sources and conversations with architects have discovered something curious: we read about how the Manege was gradually released from buildings, from the tram tracks and the like. But the photos of old Moscow show that, in a sense, the release was nothing! It so happened that due to various circumstances were phased out a fragment of the city with residential houses, shops, streets.

The area that is "released", first I had to create. But before this place was built, because there was something? No doubt. You can trace the history of the place for several centuries and call it "history Manege square", knocking into the past the modern geography of the city.

But what does "the history of the place"? If changing buildings, streets, if disappeared and reappeared empty, uninhabited area, why so different in appearance and functions the place we call "the same place"? In the end, even if we are not talking about human intervention, we often say: a few centuries ago this place was the river. And for a thousand years before there was forest. And before the sea... What happens in this case with the concept of space? It is becoming more General and abstract as the idea of the place freed from ideas about filling its things.

"The steppe peoples were not involved in Maritime piracy, the inhabitants of the hot desert — don't eat frozen fish. However, the value of such direct influences can only be very limited, and all attempts to prove that the landscape and climate will always remain the Central determinants of sustainable and just development of society and culture have failed" In the end is such a big empty aquarium in which you can cram a lot of different and different things are located, then take them out and redo the interior, but the aquarium will be the same. With this intuitive representation we face when talking about what people "gives meaning" to the physical space. On the one hand, it seems, and rightly so, on the other hand, something's not right here.

And it's "wrong" is this: at some point, we realize that moving things around doesn't leave space "the same." Pipe hidden in the river, demolished or built a house, a temple on the site of the pool or a new bridge over the old river changed location, not just fill or empty the same. This implies a lot of important insights.

Talk about painting or thinking about space do not lose value. Just lead them it is necessary more cautiously, given that there are multiple possible perspectives of observation. He who observes people's behavior, say, in public places, can see the "objects among objects": human bodies are material, they are on some objectively measurable distances from each other and from other material objects, they move with a certain velocity that can be measured and so on. But if such observer would take into account their own point of view of those for whom watching data take a completely different view of someone stopped at a traffic light, someone in a hurry, the third interested in the window or aimlessly flaniruet.

There is no space separate from the actions, interactions and interpretation. But the question of how the interplay of "color" space, that is the question of how one material object is a bench, the other a showcase and how all of this turns out street — this is the third term. If we fail to distinguish between them, we are all messed up.

— How people's behavior is determined by what space are they located?

— This question is also a few aspects. On the surface, of course, the old, well-known has long been logic: once a person is body-in-space, means, its validity is determined by the device that space. It used to be such the concept of "geography" or "landscape" determinism. From the landscape in combination with climate conclusions the main characteristics of social life.

Not to say that this was not correct. The steppe peoples were not involved in Maritime piracy, the inhabitants of the hot desert — don't eat frozen fish. However, the value of such direct influences can only be very limited, and all attempts to prove that the landscape and climate will always remain the Central determinants of sustainable and just development of society and culture, were unsuccessful. However, you should delve into this question, to understand how it is complicated.

First of all, the space often represents not so much a definite cause, as the frame within which for example a whole range of different types of behavior. For example, going to the store or in the classroom, in the train or in the clinic, we are forced to conform their behavior with the logic of the place, but the repertoire of possible actions in this case may be wide. However, this frame is, here the "physical" often cannot be separated from "semantic": doors, walls, fences, markings, Windows, stairs, vehicle is not just physical objects is materialized, the rules and regulations that, for example, the English sociologist Giddens, I would say "locally". Crossing the threshold of institutions, stopping at the transition, paying market trader, we do things possible in this place.

There are, of course, and these peculiarities in the behavior of people who are associated with the closeness of bodies as such. Intimacy is achievable for the senses — from touch to vision or hearing. Manipulative area, as once called it the philosopher and sociologist George Herbert Mead, is the subject of the study of proxemics, as a special discipline. The close arrangement of bodies is important because it seems unambiguous, undoubted: that's this thing can reach such and such a distance are visible the facial expression of another person, and that still hear his voice.

But this evidence is partly misleading: what is considered close in one culture will not be close to the other rules governing the behavior close to each other, differently interpreted. Social distance makes close to far away (mind the Gap once wrote Pelevin, playing with the literal meaning of the words "abyss" and the name of the brand), and communications make distant to close (thanks to the money we get the goods from afar, thanks to electronics — recent news).

"The digital world changed a lot. At one time it was said that the space does not matter, because the spatial removal is also meant spending time together. Of course, now things can't be brought infinitely rapidly, but still spatial distance has ceased to play the role played before" the bulk of the things around us were created or transformed by people. They had a reason to do so. Among their goals was the impact on our behavior. We are not so much the effect of space as the influence of other people through things-in-space and means of communication. Of course, this also means that we can change the spatial world, to try to re-register it under their own ideas and goals. That is why modern cities are becoming a place of struggle.

For example, a large, world city attracts capital, the concentration of funds is its transformation, but the objectives of the conversion, the image which becomes the city, not generated by its inhabitants, at least, not the majority. Cash and information flows and communication of management commitment and political support are in different spaces, and collision around objects of urban planning shows this very well.






— How does the perception of space in the digital world? Does the opportunity reach online?

The digital world has changed a lot. At one time it was said that the space does not matter, because the spatial removal is also meant spending time together. Of course, now things can't be brought infinitely rapidly, but still spatial distance has ceased to play the role played before.

Let's start with examples.

Ulrich Beck, German sociologist, ten years ago talked about how do the announcements in English in Berlin Tegel airport: the bearer of a language, American is sitting at home, in the United States, in front of her computer table, informing in real time about the movement of aircraft. Passengers hear someone who is thousands of miles away, but it doesn't matter and is not recognized.

Let's take another case.

Recently, I congratulated a colleague living in Western Europe, with the anniversary. My wife and I contacted a flower delivery service in Moscow and paid for the order by credit card. It would be strange to ask, "in what place" were the money instantly moved from one account to another. But where were the flowers? Really brought them to Moscow airport and taken by plane to Europe? Of course not. Our order went on the Internet and came to the florists in the same city where he lives colleague. There was a bouquet on the model and that is what is quite a traditional way lucky on. The space is not that disappeared, but the farthest was the closest, judging by the time, close — move flowers in the city — far. But there are such examples, which show almost instantaneous action remote event, whether it trades on world markets or political news.

— However, does this mean that space doesn't matter?

Not at all, and the so-called spatial turn of recent decades demonstrates this. The corporeal world and the digital world are not opposed to each other, but form a new hybrid of education. For example, the car and the system "man-vehicle" owned by, of course, still pre-digital era. But a car with a Navigator, the directions on the computer, it's the phenomenon of our days. What is the movement with the Navigator? It's not just convenient auxiliary means. In the ideal case, although in practice this is not always the Navigator changes the attitude to space. When a person is walking, his conception of space is formed due to the so-called kinesthetic synthesis: in the movement of parts of the territory available to direct perception, follow one another, and gradually folded into more General concepts.

"On the one hand, the ability to instantly retrieve digitized information anywhere is a new way to relate to the location of the body. On the other hand, the boundaries between public and private, primarily the so-called "personal territory" blurred" When driving in a train or car it happens with difficulty, and, for example, a few hours in the aircraft do not tell us what path we have travelled. The car is thus not completely off us from the exploration of space. But what happens when it comes in the navigators? The path is divided into segments: turn-by-turn — and they add up into a coherent representation of space travel, we are talking only about instructions and waiting instructions. Kinesthetic synthesis does not occur, the experience of the body substantially adjusts digital information, though, and can't be eliminated it entirely.

The digital world relativery the concept of proximity. The conversation ceased to be possible at a distance the availability of voice for hearing for a long time, with the invention of the telephone. Mobile communications are severed the conversation from a place (e.g., the location of the landline phone in the apartment, a phone booth, long distance telephone station). It is so obvious that is not perceived only as "one of the new amenities." But to consider it it is necessary not only on a par with email and all Internet capabilities on portable devices, but also in a broader perspective.

On the one hand, the ability to instantly retrieve digitized information — theoretically — anywhere is a new way to relate to the location of the body. Mobile communication allows not to move in cases that were previously the basis for the transfers. On the other hand, the boundaries between public and private, primarily the so-called "personal territory", are becoming blurred.

A private conversation on a mobile phone in a public place is a routine operation, but what to call it, for example, actions on the subway or airplane, who spent time on the way to viewing the new film downloaded from the net? In all cases, the location does not disappear, does not disappear as the body but the place gets new features.

It is a node in a network or interweaving of diverse trends. In addition, many familiar situations of social interaction and the usual place is also not going away. Focusing on the characteristics of the "new world", we should not forget about the "old".

Source: theoryandpractice.ru

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