spatial expressivity

“Spatial expressivity has another aspect: the relational one. The ecological space inhabited by an animal expresses, through the arrangement of surface layouts, the capacities it has to affect, and be affected by, the animal. To put this differently, solid objects present an animal with opaque surfaces the layout of which supplies it with opportunities and risks: a clutteredspace supplies a walking animal with the possiblity of locomotion in only some directions, those exhibiting openings or passage, but not in others; the edge of a cliff supplies a walking animal with a rtisk, the risk of falling, and the sharp edges of the rocks below, the risk of piercing its flesh; a layout of rigid surfaces facing inward, like a hole on the side of a mountain, supplies an animal with a place to hide, either to escape from a predator or, on the contrary, to conceal its presence from its unsuspecting prey. These spatial capacities to affect and be affected are fully objective: the animal may perceive them incorrectly and miss an opportunity or run an unnecessary risk. They are nevertheless relational: the surface of a lake does not supply a large animal with the opportunity to walk becaure it affords this opportunity to small insects that can move on it because of its surface tension. Perceptual ecologists and behavioural roboticists have a name for these opportunities and risks supplied by surface layouts affordances.”
-Manuel DeLanda,“The Expressivity of Space”

“Some might agree with the Tate that the work, Doris Salcedo’s “Shibboleth,” concerns “the divisions between creed, color, class and culture that maintain our social order, precariously balanced as it is on the precipice of a chaotic void of hatred.” Others might feel that, as a visitor named Peter Lord said the other day, “there’s some kind of meaning behind it, although I don’t know what.” ”
Reference: New York Times Article, 11/12/ 2007


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