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Button: Metaphors of Space
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Fixed space is a term used by anthropologist Edward T. Hall (American anthropologist, born 1914) to define the basic organizing activities of civilization. It includes material and internalized designs that govern our behavior as we move about from point to point. Discussions of space raise the issue of the real and unreal in the realm of experience. How do we construct a model in our minds of an external world? Space implies something unlimited, without tangibility or definitive boundaries. Our concept changes as we move from one place to another, and with each movement we define specific spaces anew. By definition, space is that interval of time between two definitive points, denoting duration of a movement through time. In ordinary experience the word "space" conjures up two distinct and opposing realizations. The first is metaphoric, like a box, a room, or a container where we put something, a place that holds the elements and objects of our existence. It is real, insofar as we can define it in the memory of our sensual experience. The second is boundless, that unlimited reach beyond the blue sky and the mortal plane that the Greeks called "ether." It is this latter, unfathomable area that seems to hold the very filament of existence. This concept of space is barely understood in the physics and mathematics that attempt to describe it—time continuum, especially with the recent inroads in the field of quantum mechanics. With each quest of our genius, we move farther out in space, both mentally and physically, expanding infinitesimally the limits or the duration of its entity. If our existence on Earth is one point, is there another point? The attempt to delineate that area of our operations and creativity becomes a matter for the imagination.

It is a fundamental impulse in both the theory and practice of the arts to attempt to breach the supposed boundaries between the temporal and the spatial.
- W. J. T. Mitchell (American media theorist)