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04 APRIL 2006

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Journeys To The Same Place

"Omnitopia enacts an architectural and perceptual enclave whose apparently distinct locales (and locals) convey inhabitants to a singular place. An imperfect amalgam of Greek and Latin roots constructing an 'all–place,' the term draws its lineage from utopia (non–place) and heterotopia (other–place) to reveal the shift from singular totalizing narratives to overlapping contradictory narratives. A key distinction from heterotopia, however, is omnitopia's shift from separate locale (park, church, graveyard, motel) to complete enclosure that approximates all of urbanity. This enclosure does not reside elsewhere, but 'everywhere.' Heterotopia offers a social safety valve from public life. Omnitopia, on the other hand, constructs a synecdoche of the world, one that is necessarily and strategically incomplete. While the 'entire world' cannot reside within the omnitopian enclosure, one encounters enough of the world to ignore what has been elided. The archetypal omnitopian may be the traveler who flows from international airport to atrium hotel to enclosed shopping mall to theme restaurant to yet another international airport – all without ever walking the streets. Moreover, as our archetypal omnitopian flows from airport to airport, she or he comes to experience them as terminals to the same place."
(Andrew F. Wood)

Wood, Andrew. (2003). A rhetoric of ubiquity: Terminal space as omnitopia. Communication Theory, 13(3), 324–344.

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TAGS

airport • Andrew Wood • arcade • atrium hotel • contradictioncontradictory narratives • enclosed shopping mall • everywhere • heterotopiainternational airportmall • omnitopia • overlap • overlapping • placeplacelessness • same place • shopping mall • synecdoche • themed restaurant • travellerutopia
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