Monday, November 30, 2009

A Pirate Heterotopia

"... the boat is a floating piece of space, a place without a place, that exists by itself, that is closed in on itself and at the same time is given over to the infinity of the sea and that, from port to port, from tack to tack, from brothel to brothel, it goes as far as the colonies in search of the most precious treasures they conceal in their gardens,

you will understand why the boat has been not only for our civilisation, from the sixteenth century until the present, the great instrument of economic development ...
but has also been simultaneously the greatest reserve of the imagination.

The ship is the heterotopia par excellence. In civilisations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates."

Michel Foucault, Of Other Spaces, 1967.

'Ratty and Mole' by Charles van Sandwyk


  1. Ah yes. The romance of boats. History caught in her nets. the future in her sails and everything that is unknown beneath her.
    And, somehow in such a rootless vessel there is a clear sense of purpose.

    What's not to love, hey?

    There will be more boats in the future ... more dreams.

  2. that why I like them so much? Sounds like you are still dreaming about going on that sea voyage.

  3. Thanks for your comments, yes, this is my favourite quote for the year. I think it encompasses so much in our civilisation. Very good and a bit of dreaming too.
    I think, Seashell, that I will prepare myself a bit better, so that when an opportunity comes knocking like that again, I can just go. Call it research.