Nature seconded

Abstract

Heidegger’s remark that the banks of the river (representing nature in its supposedly pure state) only become apparent because of the presence of the bridge (representing the artificial in its supposed opposition to that nature) will lead this presentation to a discussion of whether or not the idea of “nature” as prior to architecture remains unequivocally valid. If nature/the site - that which claims to come before the artificial/architecture - only appears as a result of the presence of the artifice/architecture, then the notion of nature/the site as original and prior to artifice/architecture is called into question. That question will in turn stimulate a particular thinking about place as the relationship, resonance, or play , between a number of sets of poles, including nature/architecture and building/subject . Thus a relational interpretation will be given to architecture and place. This interpretation will be informed, via Derrida’s exposition , by references to chora (place) in Plato’s Timaeus, recalling in turn that the word relates to non-static notions of place: to the chorus, the dance. The photographic work of Andras Gursky and Thomas Ruff, amongst others, may be used during the presentation.

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Tim Gough
Kingston University

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