Denaturing Space and Time

Arran E. Gare in Postmodernity and the Environmental Crisis:

“With the denaturing of contexts, space and time have also been denatured. Once originality was regarded as important. Originality implies an origin at some place and time. With the deconxtextualization of information, with the capacity for indefinite transformations and recombinations and reproductions of information, the notion of something being an original no longer makes sense. When things no longer have a place of origin, what do space and time mean? When music is produced by mixing sounds recorded at different place, films and television stories are produced by splicing film taken at diverse times in diverse places, when styles are taken from their original context and reproduced indefinitely with or without changes … At the same time, television has extended people’s spatial horizons, creating the global village; but in the process it has stressed impact at the expense of meaning, destroyed perspective and left people feeling helpless in relation to an undifferentiated mass of problems totally beyond their control. Rather than space being the ultimate reference point, spaces are produced with such bewildering complexity that they defy efforts by individuals to orient themselves within them. Correspondingly, time has also lost its meaning. Just as spatiality is extended but disorganized, so is temporality. People become aware of past forms of life and styles in the present but the present is no longer interpreted as an outcome of the past, nor in relation to the future” (Gare, 1995:29).

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