Foucault describes six principles that distinguish heterotopic spaces from
all others. We explore these heterotopic principles in order to theorize
and re-envision new archival spaces on the WWW.
All cultures manifest heterotopias, some as sacred places like cemeteries,
and others more profane such as museums and ships.
Each heterotopia has a "precise and determined function" that may shift
over time. Cemeteries, for example, were generally located near the town's
center next to the church until the end of the eighteenth century. Their
migration to the suburbs during the 19th century marked a significant ideological
shift from the "sacred and immortal heart of the city" to the 'other city,'
where each family possesses its dark resting place" (25).
Heterotopias are capable of "juxtaposing in a single real place several
spaces, several sites that are themselves incompatible." He provides the
examples of libraries and Oriental gardens.
Heterotopias "are most often linked to slices in time," as in the functions
that a library or cemetery serve. These spaces always "presuppose a system
of opening and closing that both isolates them and makes them penetrable."
Some heterotopias require rites of passage while others appear to be publicly
accessible but "hide curious exclusions" (26).
Finally, heterotopias function in relation to all spaces that exist outside
of them. At the same time that they mark a culturally definable space that
is unlike any other space, they also act as microcosms reflecting larger
fcultural patterns or social orders.
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