Public Space

Public Spaces

Spirit Surfers animated wordmark

Are the internet’s privately owned public spaces available for contemplation? Or does the speed of information and the constant movement of data make that impossible?

“Space” is a discourse of phenomena, the “public” is a discourse of politics. Private ownership is a discourse of economics that warps the others to accommodate the habits of using things and abstractions. It constructs protocols that make space and public as ephemeral as money. Communities can take shape around these protocols but they grow their own, unarticulated systems of interaction and affinity that change more subtly and unpredictably than terms of service and zoning laws. The latter are brittle. Communities—even the minimal communions that are established between two people, or between one person and an image or object of contemplation—adapt easily to new conditions, and thrive in discourses beyond those of the marketplace. There aren’t enough terms of service to manage all the publics and space in the world, or the people who live in them. Brian Droitcour, The New Inquiry, October 29, 2012

Here are all the notes in this garden, along with their links, visualized as a graph.