We Have Never Been Displaced by Timothy Morton,
Excerpt from Reality machines catalogue
A funny thing happened on the way to ecological awareness: space collapsed. Us moderns and postmoderns had been banking on place collapsing, all that meaning evaporating in the empty or emptying box of pure difference, or pure mathematics. We were all set to raise a glass to the end of place, which we had been seeing as a distressingly out of date, conservative concept.
But it was space that evaporated, while place remained. This is no longer our familiar, lovable concept of place, however. That concept had to do exclusively with human places. What we are coming to realize is that human places exist within and alongside thousands and thousands of nonhuman places, overlapping, intersecting, interpenetrating with “our” place.
By force majeure, the anthropocentric copyright control on the concept of place has lifted. And space has been revealed as anthropocentric through and through. What an astounding paradox. But it makes perfect sense. Space is really a projection of sets of human tools for accomplishing human goals, like measuring the width of the galaxy or traveling on a highway or planning a building. No matter how big it is, space is the human-scaled concept, handy and universally applicable.