the autumn issue, 2021
A Starting Point
One sunny afternoon, in a small café at the centre of the Swedish university town of Uppsala, a quick coffee catch-up took an unexpected turn. Somewhere between the third and fourth cup, small building blocks of what would become Differens Magazine were assembled, as throw-away comments grew into full-blown bullet points.
From the start, Differens Magazine was envisioned as a dynamic and accessible place for both philosophical and aesthetical explorations. We wanted to make the boundaries of traditional academic philosophy more permeable; letting something new into the theoretical discourse, whilst airing something old out of it. As such, in the creation of Differens Magazine, the very first ruminations were those about space and difference. They were considerations of limit and extension; how far should we reach, what confines are we shifting, and what boundaries are we enforcing in the process? But they were also considerations of form and division; where do we place ourselves within the current microcosm of theoretical thought, and what is that blanket of negative-space surrounding us?
The practical questions we were grappling with were inherently philosophical. They encouraged us to reflect on the spatial origins of terms that are often overlooked, academically, as well as in the everyday; self, other, frame, shape, building, belonging, moving, staying; inherently spatial, yet increasingly slighted. Our language is riddled with spatial imagery that relies on our intuitive understanding of what it means to be in place. But these words are more than helpful metaphors; they denote the conditions of life, of thought, and of philosophical interrogation. We wanted to make sure not to take these terms for granted as we make our way into the open realm of philosophical inquiry. For this reason, we decided to devote our very first issue to space and difference, encouraging our writers to consider two sides of the terminological coin as they deep-dive into the conceptual chiasmus of different spaces/spaces of difference. As editors, writers, and artists take-off from the proverbial platform of our first theme, Differens Magazine slowly comes into shape as nothing more, nothing less, than a starting point.
Therése Lager, Amanda Winberg, Lapo Lappin, Johannes Stenlund
A Conversation with Artist Eleni Ieremia
“To me, the lamp became a window to an artificial exterior, and I hoped to challenge and redefine what we see, erasing a well-defined function in space, a liable object in the room. I have the impression that we usually do not look up at the ceiling when entering an exhibition space. Modernism neglected ceilings.”
Dividing Lines. Four Images, Somewhat Fewer Ideas.
”It is not geometry that is ”logical”; it is logic that is geometrical. Logic is principally a matter of drawing distinctions, of dividing, of dividing these distinctions into new divisions. It is, as much as we would want to resist it, a spatial matter, a geometrical matter. What Plato looks for in an aspiring lover of wisdom is the capacity to draw segments, trace circumferences, split lines.”
Body, Space and the Notion of Corps Propre: Insights into Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception
”Space refers to the expanse with which we physically interact. The concept of space is what allows us to think about places, bodies and material objects, distances, and more generally, to think about the environment in which we live, with which we interact and which we perceive.”
Breaking and Coming Together: a Personal Restructuring of the Spatiality of Homecoming
”As we shelter ourselves, we portion off a space, making it an inside, contrasting an outer world. This boundary, temporary as it may be, differentiates between outer and inner, making the home its own space, not just part of a larger mass. It is because the home is demarcated and limited, that the space becomes overseeable and possible to know and map fully, in contrast to the outside world.”
The Social Sculpture of Chinatown: Joseph Beuys and Artistic Agency in Everyday Gesamtkunstwerk
”Profits are made, tourists are drawn, and the commodification of Chinatown and Chinese culture exists concurrently to and within the social sculpture of Chinatown. The crossed divide between commodity and art coincides with another crossed divide within Chinatown, which is the divide between spectacle and festival. The question arises: who is a part of Chinatown and how much agency do they have? ”
Fenomenologiska perspektiv på James Turrells Skyspace
”Merleau-Ponty skulle nog säga att Turrell faktiskt lyckas utföra det som fenomenologen endast kan drömma om att åstadkomma med ord. Turrells blick har formats av det medium som han har bemästrat, ljuset, vilket gör hans perception unik. Den är finstämd och kan berätta något nytt om världen då den ständigt har pressats av sitt hantverks krav.”
The Artistic Space: On the Usefulness of Post Avant Garde Art
”As for usefulness, Bürger suggests that art has come apart from our praxis of life, by which he means that experiences of art are no longer contained within people’s engagement with the rest of the world. Rather, art is something which today is experienced in an autonomous manner, in what Bürger calls art’s special sphere of experience.”
Konsten att tänka tillsammans: Ett samtal om platser och rum med curatorerna Emily Fahlén och Asrin Haidari
”Det sociala har varit så centralt då vi försökt att se: vad är relevant på den här platsen? Förankring är nyckelordet, och det innebär att spendera mycket tid och se mer än på ett snabbt ytligt plan. Det blir på så vis inte bara ett professionellt arbete utan det handlar mycket om att skapa nya vänner på de här platserna och på så sätt få större förståelse för vad som är problematiskt och inte.”
Finding Place in Abandoned Place: Tinna Gunnarsdóttir’s Artistic Exploration of Héðinsfjörður, Iceland
”Artist and designer Tinna Gunnarsdóttir purchased an abandoned farmland in Héðinsfjörður some years ago. Since then, she has been on an explorative journey to understand and find her place in the fjord.”
A Meeting At Trinity College
”Newton: I have proof.
Leibniz: You have proof?
Newton: I have proof of the effects of Absolute Space.”
Yogurt Cartographies (Vital Aesthetics): Culturing the Space of Self and Other
”Socrates made the famous admission that he knows that he knows nothing. Abraham Maslow echoed the adage that the sacred must be found in the ordinary. Philip K. Dick identified the ‘trash stratum’ of life as the place where the divine is manifest. ‘Nothing is sacred’, that lofty pedestrian phrase, means that everything truly is such. And then there is yogurt.”
The Highway Screen: an Historical Overview on the Construction of Highway Landscapes
”[…] the industrial sites are detached from its context as they are abstracted, limited and defined in the window of the frame and as such appreciated as a picturesque view that naturally motivates its preservation. In this process the highway becomes the place of the audience, a field where aesthetical appreciation takes place, where the landscape and cultural identities simultaneously are fixated and codified.”
Publisher / Ansvarig utgivare:
Publishing place/ Utgivningsort: