Tapestry of Space Summary

“Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgo en New York” by Irina Nersessova is an article about the psychogeography of homeless people. She discusses the connection that New York’s homeless have with the abandoned tunnels that were once used for public transportation, and delves into the emotion of the subject instead of solely focusing on numbers. The most striking point that Morton makes when talked about in Nersessova’s article is that homeless people do, indeed, have a home. They can have a place where they feel safe and protected. However, homeless people are without a home that they can fully rely on. The tunnels have provided a sanctuary for many homeless because they are less likely to be in danger than if they were sleeping above the tunnels. Above ground is like a whole other world. It is a place of danger, death, and pain. Although this is true, most people above ground would never go into the deep, dark, abandoned tunnels, but Nersessova writes, “The absolute darkness of the tunnel prevents danger from entering it, which explains how it is possible to have the highest feeling of safety in a place that is perceived as most dangerous” (31). The homeless have to ignore their fear when they are searching for a safe place to rest. Those that are brave enough to face going into the tunnels for the first time can find a Utopia there. They can sleep without fear of being mugged, and they have a safe place to hide their valuables, and a quiet place to find themselves....

Tapestry of Space

In the article Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton ’ s Photography of a Forgotten New York, Morton opens up describing underground and above ground homes that the homeless build from fragments, scraps and all sorts of materials. She discusses how essential shelter is and how ones identity is derived from it. She also states how no home is permanent leaving people with a fragile sense of identity. She breaks it down to discuss what it really means to be homeless and how many of us are homeless in different aspects we would have never considered. She discusses how stability isn’t guaranteed for the homeless or the housed due to closed off tunnels and home demolition.  This goes to show that being homeless and being housed is not a binary. It seems as if it is no longer about the foundation of where you lay your head but more so about the stability behind that foundation, because clearly we can all be homeless within a blink of an eye; one wrong decision, missed payment or even a natural disaster. It truly makes me think about the true meaning of homeless, we all have a depiction of what it means and looks like to be homeless, but reading this article lets me know that there is so much more to it than just being without a home. Because those without an actual mortgaged or rented home still find ways and means to have shelter for themselves and their families, by building a home of their own under bridges, tunnels and alley ways, building places of...

Summary Two (Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgotten New York)

Source (The cover of Morton’s book The Tunnel: The Underground Homeless of New York City.)   Tapestry of Space: Domestic Architecture and Underground Communities in Margaret Morton’s Photography of a Forgotten New York written by Irina Nersessova is an analysis of Morton’s work using Situationist International theory. Situationist International theory teaches that capitalist societies engage in something called the spectacle. When a society engages in the spectacle they are fed images by the media that teach people who they are, what they need, what to value, and what to pursue. It’s a lens through which a society views reality, distorting it. Therefore, a rift between a society engaged in the spectacle and reality is created. Instead of people feeding off of reality, the very world around them, they instead feed off of a purely man-made construct that serves to mold people into a particular image. Moreover, this construct pushes people to perpetually consume resources, the newest gadgets, movies, and fashion, which in some cases impacts the environment and the world as a whole. Typically,  we categorize the homeless as those without homes. This is incorrect. The homeless do have homes; they’re just not the conventional homes that are seen in so-called normal society. This is an unfortunate misinterpretation of what homeless means because what follows from this is the devaluing of their lives and homes. As Nersessova mentioned in her paper, it allows cities to remove and destroy the spaces of the homeless without restriction. Nersessova points out that because the homeless are not conditioned by a capitalistic society like the majority of US citizens are, they do not...
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