Editorial by Emily Potter and Robyn Tucker, Altitude, Volume 2, Editorial, 2002.
PDF Version: Dreamscapes
Utopias and dystopias are frequently assumed to be oppositional spaces distinct from ‘ordinary’ lived experience; they are perfect spaces (whether positive or negative)-dreamscapes, ‘outside’ or other. Critical to this edition of altitude, however, is the recognition of the tensions of such categories.
Utopias and dystopias are contextual; what they represent stems from the situation from which they are envisioned. In this sense they are part of, rather than disassociated from. What, then, is their function within the present?
Are they utilized as tools for (specific types of) expression?
Can they be politically effective?
Are they transient, or can they form ontologies?
Considered contextually, are they part of a vision of progress, an eternal becoming? Can they ever be realised (and could we actually exist within them)?
Moreover, are utopias and dystopias actually ‘poles apart’?
Can we define such boundaries, or are they perhaps fluid?
Can they merge into each other?
Can one exist without the possibility of the other?
Can there be spaces-dreamscapes-in which they co-mingle? Indeed, are our ‘ordinary’, lived realities dreamscapes?
The pieces in this edition approach these questions, and more, in varying ways and modes, offering a landscape for contemplation that reflects the possibilities and limitations of these particular visions.
Judy Greenway, Impossible Outlaws: Gender, Space and Utopia in Johnny Guitar
Emily Potter, ‘How can you live in a city of monuments?’: Reading Commemoration and Forgetting in Adelaide’s North Terrace Precinct
Conrad Russell, Dream and Nightmare in William Gibson’s Architectures of Cyberspace
Jesse Shipway, Psychoanalysis and Economics: The Significance of the Primal Scene
Lesley Williams, Beyond My window
Ike Kim, manentersroom
Mark Noe, Conversations with Barthes Prior to Committing Suicide
Liza Slater, Balloonman