[-empyre-] cages

The last three posts from Hugh, Sally Jean Norman, and Brian were
fantastic.  I thought I would simply add--having no time to digest all the
rich material offered here--a cage story (adapted from a book I wrote last
year--a chance for a plug):  A wildlife management scientist published an
article in the New York about being severely bitten by a hyena.  The hyena
was in a cage and she was putting water into the cage when the hyena bit
her, dragging her into the cage.  She lived, but with a limp that
subsequently, according to her account, marked her as prey in the world of
animals she worked with.  The cage arrests the hyena (in a post-animal
world)--it is no longer able to lay down its scent on the plains, the
means by which it announces it difference and identity.  A cage, for an
animal, is a drastic loss of space and an induction into a pathological
spatial aphasia.  For humans, "cages"--architectural cages for
example--are a gain in the meaning and reality of space.  But both cages
are space-boxes in the sense that they are constructed by representational
techniques (classical perspective or digital scripting ) that makes
"gaming", among other things, inevitable.  The caged animal and 
"architectural human" in their boxes share a complex relationship to what
Derrida called "ethical calculability."

Distracted, but profound, gaming (in which real ethical calculability is
probed in a variety of ways) is therefore, my hasty theoretical summary of
the multitude of practices to which "spatial critical practice" might be
leading us now. I think this is, mostly, a positive and creative
direction.  Do you agree?

Catherine Ingraham

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