Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity

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Non-Places, by Marc Auge



An ever-increasing proportion of our lives is spent in supermarkets, airports and hotels, on motorways or in fronts of TVs, computers and cash machines. This invasion of the world by what Marc Auge calls "non-space" results in a profound alteration of awareness: something we perceive, but only in a partial and incoherent manner.'

Marc Auge (translated by John Howe)

Non-places: Introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity Verso, London & New York, 1995.

First published (1992) as Non-Lieux, Introduction k une anthroplogie de la supermodernite

ISBN 185884 956 3 (hbk) 29.95 ISBN 185984 0515 (pbk) 9.95

Definition of Place

Marc Auge defined place as one concered with Relation, Identity and History.

If, according to Augé, non-spaces discourage "settling in", then non-spaces are open to the colonization of the technosocial device on every stage that has been ripped away from its social roots. Every place that has seen its citizenship fall to individual concerns is open to reconnection of the social by means of the cell phone. No one can "settle-in" on a street they do not feel at home in. Airports are non-places because one has no identity once one enters the airport. The airport is a site that is betwixt and between here and there, what Sociologist Bruno Latour would call a liminal space.

The community that one used to engage was the entire world. Now it is subscriptions to certainm parts of the world. That’s not true, but it sounds really nice.

A so-called hot place is where a lot of stuff is going on.

“What emerges from the fading social norms is naked, frightened, aggressive ego in search of love and help. In the search for itself and an affectionate sociality, it easily gets lost in the jungle of the self; someone who is poking around in the fog of his of his or her own self is no longer capable of noticing that this isolation, this 'solitary-confinement of the ego' is a mass sentence” [Ulrich Beck, 40 in Bauman 2000:37].

As the world's population enters into a more highly technically concentrated arena, the cultural constructions of space and communication are changing.

Cultural constructions of space are are being influenced by new technologies that facilitate communication. The cell phone is one such device that is making cultural constructions of space different. A new system of manners as well as nonverbal and verbal communication is arising to absorb and normalize the existence of this new device.

My thesis on Cell Phones and Their Technosocial Sites of Engagement examines those changes and the experience of and negotiation of space before and after the cultural implementation and adoption of the mobile phone as an extension of the individual.

Supermodernity V | Book Review

History & Theory: Goodbye Supermodernism

Varnelis, Kazys Architecture Architecture v. 95 no. 7 (July 2006) p. 55-6 2006 Illustration English

Supermodernism is obsolete in the digital era. Fourteen years ago, in his book Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, Marc Auge argued that as contemporary life is a relentless procession through spaces of transit, place is giving way to nonplace--an empty, meaningless environment through which we pass alone. Inspired by this book, Hans Ibelings, almost a decade ago, published Supermodernism: Architecture in the Age of Globalization, in which he argued that supermodernism is expressionless and neutral. Today we live in a networked environment that neither portends a return to the place of old, nor is it a space of solitude; therefore, nonplace is only a brief transitional entity, and supermodernity only a waystation on the path of a network culture.

Space (Architecture)/Social aspects; Architecture and society; Architecture/Philosophy; Place (Philosophy) ; Auge, Marc, 1935- ; Ibelings, Hans

Supermodernity Vol. II

The world is becoming smaller and smaller, the space between ideas in fast social network almost minute with words, texts, images and links traveling faster and faster between extremely network types of social players.

These tightly connected social networks are capable at extremely rapid communication interchanges whereas the rest the party has difficulty getting ideas from one place to another. This sort of social exchange will only escalate in the future with more accessible rapid micro blogging technology.

This is the beginning of what we might call the network society the answer to Marc Auge's paper on non species and introduction to super modernity.

Supermodernity III

It is a society that seeks out of this mess of commodity, constantly seeks authenticity, but can never quite get there. The fact of the matter is that the very search for authenticity, for anti-corpratisim, is being commodified as we speak. It is becoming suppressed just like the Seattle punk movement. Independent coffeeshops are sprouting up all over the place. Stores that supply vintage goods are raising their prices. The same laws of style apply, the same reules of interactiion. Newness is becoming absorbed, neutralized, romantisized and approriated.

Those with greater social, political, and economic power can easily integrate their company's objective into any cultural movement and raise it up on a hill for all of the country...all of the world to see. This symbol, subsequentely worshipped so far and wide, can be taken down as readily as it was put up, and then entire movement will quickly go down with it.