UTOPIA: SPACE AND SPATIAL WORK

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Utopia and dystopia

The dystopia, variously referred to as kakotopia (Mumford 1965:283), anti-utopia (Kumar 1987) and satire (Frye 1965:337; Manuel 1973b:71), is dialectically linked to utopia in such a way that it cannot merely be described as the opposite of utopia, and the complex relationship between utopia and dystopia sheds light on the nature of utopia itself. For instance, an intractable obstacle in attempting to definitively distinguish between utopia and dystopia, is that what constitutes a utopia for its protagonist can be a very dark dystopia to an onlooker, or a cowed participant (Knights & Willmott 2002:59). Furthermore, a dystopian novel (for instance) does not merely express the opposite impulse to a utopian one. Dystopia can be described as the expression of utopia in times where there is little hope of the realisation of utopia (Reedy 2002:171). In this sense, the dystopia is a utopia with a disheartened or anguished tone. John Carey (1999:xi-xii) notes that dystopias express fear, whereas utopias express aspiration, making dystopia « merely a utopia from another point of view ». According to Roy Stager Jacques (2002:30), dystopia employs identical rules of logic, space and time as utopia, and has the same function as utopia, namely to point out the perceived faults of a given system. In this form, dystopia is presented as a « tool for negating the negation and achieving the ideal state », which is also what the utopia aims to do (Stager Jacques 2002:30). Dystopia can thus seemingly be defined in terms of its form, content or function, in the same way that utopia can, and dystopia can be seen to spring from a longing for (if not hope in) a better way of living, which is according to Levitas (1990:7, 181, 191) what is definitive of utopias. Dystopia can accordingly be regarded as indistinguishable from utopia in crucial aspects, and indeed Kumar (1987:99) describes anti-utopia (dystopia) as utopia’s « malevolent and grimacing doppelgänger », which has « stalked utopia from the very beginning ».

Nomad space

In keeping with the aims of the so-called spatial turn, namely to dismantle a historicist approach to social phenomena, Deleuze and Guattari (1993) focus on spatial ‘work’, or the sociopolitical relations that inhere in and shape space. Gilles Deleuze (in Deleuze & Guattari 1993:517) notes: « What I detested more than everything else was Hegelianism and the Dialectic ». They propose, in contrast, an « antigenealogy … antimemory … an aparallel evolution of … the world » (Deleuze & Guattari 1993:21, 11). For Deleuze and Guattari (1993:23), history invariably reflects the interests of sedentary populations and that of a unitary State apparatus, « even when the topic is nomads ». What for them is lacking is a nomadology, the opposite of history (Deleuze & Guattari 1993:23). The proposed discourse of nomadology closely mirrors Foucault’s conception of a heterotopology.
In A thousand plateaus (1993), Deleuze and Guattari use several terms to refer to the specific conception of agentic space (interpreted here as a utopia), that they envisage, including but not limited to nomadic space, smooth space, and the plane of consistency. In geographic terms it is described as a margin, constituting a « backcountry, a mountain side, or the vague expanse around the city »; and as a steppe, desert, or sea (Deleuze & Guattari 1993: 380, 379). This shifty region is indexed by exteriority (Deleuze & Guattari 1993:9), which, politically, indicates exclusion. However, a sociopolitically exterior position is also the platform from which to mobilise resistance to the given.

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background and aims of study
1.2 Literature review
1.3 Theoretical framework
1.4 Methodological framework
1.5 Overview of chapters
CHAPTER TWO: UTOPIA
2.1 Utopia defined
2.2 Utopia imagined
2.3 Utopia realised
2.4 Utopia and dystopia
2.5 For and against utopia
2.6 Conclusion
CHAPTER THREE: UTOPIA: SPACE AND SPATIAL WORK
3.1 The late modern spatial turn
3.2 Heterotopia
3.3 Nomad space
3.4 Neutral space and the new
3.5 Tactical space
3.6 Conclusion
CHAPTER FOUR: UTOPIA: SPACE AND DIFFERENCE
4.1 Productive space
4.2 Third space
4.3 Spaces of hope
4.4 Conclusion
CHAPTER FIVE: DISTOPIA: A UTOPIA OF SPATIOTEMPORAL POLITICAL PROCESS
5.1 Utopia as spatiotemporal political process
5.2 Distopia
5.3 Conclusion
CHAPTER SIX: NEOPLASTICISM AND DISTOPIA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
6.1 Neoplasticism: the utopia of Piet Mondrian
6.2 Conclusion
CHAPTER SEVEN: NEW BABYLON AND DISTOPIA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
7.1 New Babylon: the utopia of Constant Nieuwenhuys
7.2 Conclusion
CHAPTER EIGHT: THE NEW WORLD EMBASSY AND DISTOPIA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
8.1 Embassy for a New World: the utopia of Jonas Staal and Moussa Ag Assarid
8.2 Conclusion
CHAPTER NINE: CONCLUSION
9.1 Summary of chapters
9.2 Contribution of study
9.3 Suggestions for further research

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