System: Space or Spaces?

“… what gives a place its specificity is not some long internalized history but the face that it is constructed out of a particular constellation of social relations, meeting and weaving together at a particular locus. […] Instead then, of thinking of places as areas with boundaries around, they can be imagined as articulated moments in networks of social relations and understandings, but where a larger proportion of those relations, experiences and understandings are constructed on a far larger scale than what we happen to define for that moment as the place itself, whether that be a street, or a region or even a continent.” (Massey, 1991, p. 28)

If as Massey states, place is a “location of the intersection of disparate trajectories”, then surely it is never fixed (Massey, 1991, p. 29). System occupies ( or possibly occupied by) with not only its rolling programme of exhibitions but also is periodically reinvented as a Spanish classroom, a theatre rehearsal space, or a rave. With each of these events bringing a new public and space being the product of social networks, do these all feed into one ‘place’ or do they produce multiple ‘places’ each defined by the social relations of its particular public?

Massey, D. (1991) ‘A global sense of place’, Marxism Today, pp. 24-29.


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