23 September 2019

Work cited:

Aristotle and Glen Coughlin. Physics, or Natural Hearing. South Bend, Ind:St. Augustine's Press, 2005.
Originally written approximately 4th-century BC.


In this treatise, Aristotle uses reason and logic to prove and define the concepts of place (chps. 1 – 5), void (chps. 6 – 9) and time (chps. 10 – 14). He uses the work of earlier thinkers, such as Zeno, as a springboard for his ideas which he illustrates with examples from nature, such as fire and water. Two major concepts put forth are that "motion" can be defined as a change of place, and that "place" can defined as “the first immobile limit of the containing [body].” This is all a part a larger subject which interested Aristotle: change.

Also, 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?

Aristotle’s definition of place (see above) raises the notion of a performance space as a boundary. 

In my design teaching, I have become interested in the ideas of place, space and time as variables within a coherent design narrative. (I treat void as “without place.”) This is the earliest existing important writing on the subject.

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