23 September 2019
Aristotle and Glen Coughlin. Physics, or Natural Hearing. South Bend, Ind:St. Augustine's Press, 2005.
In this book of fourteen chapters, Aristotle uses reason and logic to prove and define place (1 – 5), void (6 – 9) and time (10 – 14). He considers the work of earlier thinkers (Zeno) on these subjects, and uses examples from nature to illustrate his ideas (fire, water). Ultimately, his thoughts on these subjects are supporting premises for his idea that motion is a change of place. This is all a part a larger subject which interested him: change.
He defines place as “the first immobile limit of the containing [body].”
Aristotle determines that void does not exist and that the universe is filled continuously with substance. He concludes that time “is a universal order within which all changes are related to each other.”
How does this relate to scenography?
Inspired by Aristotle’s definition of place, I have started thinking of performance space as a boundary. I don’t have more to say at the moment, other than I will continue to consider this proposition and build it up in my mind.
In my teaching, I have become increasingly interested in the ideas of place, space and time as variables within a coherent design narrative.(I treat void as “without place.”) Aristotle defines these terms much differently than I, but I am seeking to expand my understanding of them. I hope to connect them to currents of thoughts outside design, particularly in the areas of science and philosophy. Aristotle’s writing seems fundamental for anyone beginning an investigation of the history and scholarship of these terms.It is clearly the first important writing on the subject.