Publication details

Vizuální nevědomí: vizuální organizace nevizuálního města

Title in English Optical Unconscious: Visual Organization of the Non-Visual City

OSMAN Robert DOBOŠ Pavel

Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Sociální studia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Web Full Text
Keywords disability geography; visually impaired people; poststructuralism; optical unconscious; space; city
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Description This article focuses on the organization of space. The practices through which we grasp and conceive space are the paper’s concern. Practices emanating from the visual organization of space are usually so commonplace for seeing people so that these practices are only poorly reflected in seeing people’s understandings of space. This is why we turn to the experience of visually impaired people. Our understanding of this experience is based on interviews with 16 communication partners from Prague and Brno in 2014 and 2015. We use the poststructuralist approach of philosopher Gilles Deleuze, psychoanalyst Félix Guattari and geographer Marcus Doel to interpret the interviews and we show that visual impairment is not about non-seeing, but about becoming seeing differently – via the non-visual percept. Yet, such practices of seeing space differently are still shaped by the modern collective optical unconscious. Doel asserts that this unconscious has been structured by the medium of film, among others, and the film technique of montage. This has made the optical unconscious obscene. Montage unbound time and space from their firm coordinates and enabled seeing beyond screened frames. This strengthened the incorporeality of spatial experience. Visually impaired people’s practices of seeing and dealing with the optical unconscious accentuate the corporeality of sight again, however. Their practices fuse the seeing via non-visual percept and the optical unconscious into new configurations, demonstrating that no way of seeing can be incorporeal.
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