Assignment 2- Foucault’s Other Spaces

In this particular reading, Michael Foucalt began from taking the binary opposition of Structuralism, how our experiences of time and space are divided into opposites. Tracing from the 17th century the history of spaces, he talks about the exterior space and its relation with time. He said that there were two kinds of spaces: utopia and heterotopia which are defined by the set of relations. The utopic is the ideal place that we aspire to live but that doesn’t exist in the reality ; while the heterotopia are the opposite of the utopic and exist in real time. He further elaborates that there heterotopias exist in primitive societies as the heterotopias of crisis ( forbidden environments restricted for people in crisis) and in our times as the heterotopias of the deviation (those where the individual behavior is deviant from the norm). While there also lies the possibility of another in between: the retired homes fall within both environments. However, the heterotopia of a society can become different with the changing time (the evolution of subsiding the cemeteries from the living places). With the relation of space and time, he tells how these hetretopias are linked to time. There are heterotopias of accumulating time, like museums and libraries, of accumulating all information of all time in one immobile place that is outside of time. Then, there is temporary heterotopias like the festivals and fairs and not directed at eternal. Furthermore, there are system of openings and closing of heterotopias that makes them penetrable, sometimes identified and at others not clear. Finally, the hetreotopia either create an illusionary space and the other perfect and real messy space.

This piece is a perfected example of how the human society have evolved over time and how the structuring of several external spaces have become important throughout the human civilization. Although the partition of human time and confinement of our spaces with its relation to time and other spaces have structured the society, it has more become a problem for human race to keep identifying themselves within these exterior projections of perfected and other spaces.

In this relation of identifying with different spaces based on relation, today we have made the societies and behavior so complex based on what is normal and acceptable and what is not. Divided on basis of religion, sexuality, morality and behavioral politics, we find ourselves often confused between what is right and wrong. I think the human society and history cannot be just traced back on the basis of structuralism as we have moved from binaries of life towards the complexities that are often difficult to be identified and associated with. Our relaxation spots, comfort zones, work places all have become so jumbled together, our homes are not the secluded spaces for the family life but also for our work and studies. The idea of working from home is taking onto the idea of what would be the work space in the future. Similarly, the idea of online education is  contrasting the idea of education in a remote structure in a specified location. The spaces have evolved over time and would eventually keep doing so.

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