Replacing Home

University of Minnesota Press.  January 2012.

Replacing Home: From Primordial Hut to Digital Network in Contemporary Art joins a long conversation about the changing definition and experience of place that repeatedly surfaces during times of spatial expansion, from the writings of Vitruvius to network theory. Arguing that contemporary art and architecture together conceptualize spatial boundaries through performance-based frameworks of embodied presence, movement and experience, the book suggests that while place may no longer be a sustainable category, being in place and belonging at home is nonetheless possible. By emphasizing reusable modes rather than fixed constructions of place, art and architecture together propose various systems of replacing home, in which specific sites can be revisited, material structures can be renewed, and dwellers can come into back into contact over time.

Addressing our ever-present desire to be at home even in the face of dislocation while remaining attuned to current trends in art and architecture, this book brings together a range of objects and events in order to present an innovative study of the structural replacements of home, as evident in artifactual analogies of the prehistoric hut, re-usable property sites, modular and portable constructions, wearable shelters and transformable garments, and digitally networked sites. In charting these under-studied intersections between contemporary art and architecture, the book introduces a new framework for conceptualizing spatial situation that is based on similarities in the phenomenologically-based language of performance theory present in each discipline’s conceptualization of place and belonging.  By participating in these prescient, ongoing debates across disciplinary boundaries, the book presents a new way to theorize and to experience being and belonging at home within our globally expanded spatial environments.