Michel Foucault and Space

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I found a very nice text of Michel Foucault about spatiality : in english or in french.

He presents how our conception of spatiality evolved. He distinguished three periods :

– Medieval space: the space of emplacement (sacred places and profane plates: protected places and open, exposed places: urban places and rural places…)
– After Galileo and the seventeenth century, extension was substituted for localization.
– Today the site has been substituted for extension which itself had replaced emplacement.

According to Foucault, we are more concerned by space than by time (because of demography for instance). “This problem of the human site or living space is not simply that of knowing whether there will be enough space for men in the world -a problem that is certainly quite important – but also that of knowing what relations of propinquity, what type of storage, circulation, marking, and classification of human elements should be adopted in a given situation in order to achieve a given end. Our epoch is one in which space takes for us the form of relations among sites.”