Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Heterotopic space opera | Vue Weekly, September 7, 2017 by Stephan Boissonneault

Editor’s note: old news

Travis McEwen’s exhibit tackles themes in an inventive sci-fi world

Working in the medium of vibrant painting, Travis McEwen explores the themes of gender identity, queerness, science fiction, and the abstract in his exhibit, The Arch: Plans for a Heterotopic Space Opera.

The exhibit is somewhat focused on the topic of heterotopia, a concept of human geography elaborated by philosopher Michel Foucault. The concept, in layman’s terms, is essentially a space that functions with little to no ruler or power.

“A utopia is a good space that doesn’t exist and a dystopia is a bad space, but a heterotopia is an other space. So, spaces of otherness,” McEwen says. “I like the concept to be a way peripheral people sort of inhabit the larger world, often in smaller communities or through digital platforms. Things like Tumblr or Facebook are good examples of people having a community that occupies digital space, but may not be in physical proximity.”

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