i. E. S. Casey, The Fate of Place. A Philosophical History, Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press, 1998, p. 287.
ii. G. Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans. by Maria Jolas, Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1994 [1958].
iii. W. Benjamin, One-Way Street, London: Verso, 1979, pp. 342-343.
iv. I. Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium, London: Vintage, 1996, p. 82.
v.  Ibid., p. 84.
vi. M. Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. by D. Landes, London and New York: Routledge, 2012.
vii. J. Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin. Architecture and the Senses, London: Academy Editions, 1996.
viii. Ibid., p. 13.
ix. Ibid., p. 11.
x. W. Benjamin, “On the Mimetic Faculty”. In W. Benjamin, Selected Writings, Vol. 2, Part 2,1931-1934, M. Jennings, H. Eiland and G. Smith (eds.), London and Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999 [1933];
W. Benjamin, “Doctrine of the Similar”. In W. Benjamin, Selected Writings, Vol. 2, Part 2, 1931-1934, M. Jennings, H. Eiland and G. Smith (eds.), London and Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999 [1933].
xi. D. W. Winnicott, “Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena”. In D. W. Winnicott, Collected Papers, London: Tavistock Publications, 1958, p. 242.
xii. S. Freud, “An Outline of Psychoanalysis”. In The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 23, London: Vintage, 2001, p. 196.
xiii. E. Wright, Psychoanalytic Criticism: A Reappraisal, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1998, p. 18.
xiv.  Ibid., pp. 18-19.
xv.  Ibid., p. 22.
xvi. This is initially described as an “ur-concept ” by Sellars. See W. Sellars, “The Lever of Archimedes” (1981). In W. Sellars, In the Space of Reasons: Selected Essays of Wilfrid Sellars, K. Scharp, R. Brandom (eds.), Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2007, p. 240;

W. Sellars, “Empiricism and the philosophy of mind” (1956). In W. Sellars, Science, Perception and Reality, London: Routledge, 1963, p. 127.
xvii. W. Sellars, “Empiricism and the philosophy of mind” (1956). In W. Sellars, Science, Perception and Reality, London: Routledge, 1963, p. 157.
xviii.  Ibid., p. 160.
xix. W. Sellars, “Concepts as involving laws and inconceivable without them”. In W. Sellars, Pure Pragmatics and Possible Worlds: the early essays of Wilfrid Sellars, Atascadero California: Ridgeview Publishing Co, 1980, p. 105.
xx.  Ibid., p. ixxii.
xxi.  Ibid., p. 105.
xxii. W. Sellars, “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind”. In W. Sellars, Science, Perception and Reality, London: Routledge, p. 173.
xxiii. C. Bishop, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, London: Verso, 2012.
xxiv. Ibid., p. 19.
xxv. E. Sedgwick-Kosofsky, Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity, Durham NC and London: Duke University Press, 2003, pp. 150-151.
xxvi. R. Bora, “Outing Texture”. In E. Sedgwick Kosofsky (ed.), Novel Gazing: Queer Readings in Fiction, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1997, pp. 95-97.
xxvii. Ibid., p. 99.
xxviii. S. Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotion, New York: Routledge, 2004, p. 9. See also S. Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others, Durham: Duke University Press, 2006.
xxix. Δ. Λαμπρέλλης, Nietzsche – Φιλόσοφος της πολλαπλότητας και της μάσκας, Αθήνα: Δωδώνη, 1988.
xxx. Here, the term orchesis refers to the classical term chorus, which signifies the organised movement of the chorus in ancient Greek drama as a metaphor for society.
xxxi. See F. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. by R. J. Hollingdale, London: Penguin, 1974; F. Nietzsche, The Gay Science, trans. by Walter Kaufmann, New York: Random House, 1991; F. Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, London: Penguin, 1994;

F. Nietzsche, Ecce Homo: How to Become What You Are, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. See also G. Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlison, London and New York: Continuum, 1983.
xxxii. S. Kofman, Nietzsche and Metaphor, trans. by Duncan Large, London: The Athlone Press, 1993, p. 42.

xxxiii. Ibid., p. 42.



Phenomenalism: Phenomenology describes relationships between spatial experience and visual impressions as intimately connected with embodied perception and intuition. Gaston Bachelard argues that spatial experience is formed by images with a localizing quality that result from psychical activity; (i) in The Poetics of Space, the house, the room, and the micro-spaces contained in domestic furniture, such as the chest of drawers, are dreamed, imagined, or remembered. (ii) Walter Benjamin also argued that architectural spaces are imprinted onto the mind, much like photographic images, through the occurrence of events, which we experience in the very same settings where they take place. In One-Way Street, Benjamin compares memory to the photographic process:
“Nothing prevents our keeping rooms in which we have spent twenty-four hours more or less clearly in our memory, and forgetting others in which we passed months. It is not, therefore, due to insufficient exposure time if no image appears on the plate of remembrance. More frequent, perhaps, are the cases when the half-light of habit denies the plate the necessary light for years, until one day from an alien source it flashes as if from burning magnesium powder, and now a snapshot transfixes the room’s image on the plate.” (iii)

On the other hand, in Visibility, Calvino stresses the significance of intuitive visualization for the construction of narratives, which are intertwined with the place where the actor is located. (iv) Calvino argues that the visual composition of places and the contemplation of an object are interrelated:
“in visual contemplation or meditation … this composition will consist in seeing from the view of the imagination the physical place where the thing I wish to contemplate is to be found.” (v)
Maurice Merleau Ponty has equated the sense of vision with the sense of touch; in his view, these senses form an osmotic relation with eachother. (vi) Likewise, Juhani Pallasmaa conceives peripheral vision as unfocused vision, which transforms retinal gestalt into spatial experience. Contrary to the focused gaze, which ejects and distances us from the spaces of inhabitation, Pallasmaa argues that peripheral vision integrates us with space, thus becoming dwellers rather than mere spectators.(vii) In architectural terms, Pallasmaa proposes that architectural representation must explore realms beyond the use of focused images:
“Photographed architectural images are centralized images of focused gestalt; yet the quality of an architectural reality seems to depend fundamentally on the nature of peripheral vision, which enfolds the subject in the space.” (viii) 
Pallasmaa makes connections between perception outside the sphere of focused vision and a pre-conscious understanding of space, where the body is not simply a viewing point of the central perspective, but instead “the very locus of reference, memory, imagination and integration.”(ix) 

In Benjamin’s conception of unconscious optics, the visual experience of architectural spaces involves entanglements of body, psyche, and mind. Benjamin argued that perceptual experiences of urban environments unfold within processes of identification. In the essays On the Mimetic Faculty and Doctrine of the Similar, Benjamin employs the term mimesis in the psychoanalytic terms of a creative empathy with the object and contrary to the Platonic notion of a compromised imitation of an original object. (x)  For Benjamin, the ability to assimilate to the environment consists in a constructive reinterpretation, which goes beyond mere imitation and becomes a creative act in itself. In this respect, the active visualization of architectural spaces implies a creative and imaginative engagement with the spaces themselves.
Psychoanalyst Donald W. Winnicott offered the term transitional phenomena to describe the cognitive processes by the means of which the infant subject gradually understands the external world as separate from his or her subjective self. Transitional processes usually involve the infant’s attachment to a particular object, which is not part of the infant’s body, yet it is not fully acknowledged to belong with external subjective realities. Winnicott saw a problem between the relationship of what is objectively perceived and what is subjectively conceived. Transitional objects and phenomena allow for an intermediate area, where what is considered objective and what is considered subjective exist simultaneously. For Winnicott, this coexistence enables the development of the realm of creativity:
“The transitional objects and transitional phenomena belong to the realm of illusion, which is at the basis of initiation of experience. This intermediate area of experience, unchallenged in respect of its belonging to inner or external (shared) reality, constitutes the greater part of the infant’s experience and throughout life is retained in the intense experiencing that belongs to the arts and to religion and to imaginative living, and to creative scientific work.” (xi) 
In psychoanalytic theory, the task of reality-acceptance is never actually quite complete; in Freud’s words, “Reality will always remain unknowable”.(xii)  In this sense, no human is free from the strain of relating inner and outer reality. Winnicott and Benjamin propose that a relief from this strain is only possible in an intermediate area of experience that is not challenged: for instance, in the creative arts and in children’s play; or, I would argue, in any form of creative appropriation.



Novel: Originally conceived as a creative writing and a photography project, Novel became a digital video, which comprised of a series of urban photographs, audiovisual recordings, and a text of fiction. Essentially the creative outcome of my parallel activities of audiovisual documentations and my travel writing, Novel formalized my subjectivity as the passerby, the nomad, and the temporary dweller of different cities during the brief period of a year. An initial intention to write an illustrated fiction adopting the literary genre of the novel soon proved a futile pursuit. Instead, I began experimenting with audiovisual and textual media in combinations of what I envisaged to become a visual story. I considered this creative process of mediation to remain closer to my subjective methods of urban documentations. Paradoxically, Novel was the outcome of my failure to write a proper novel, a straightforward fictive narrative. Neither photography nor literature, the final hybrid project also incorporated fragments of the audiovisual recordings. In formalizing the pursuit of two separate, yet integrated activities in experiential terms, this composite project employed the techniques of writing and of audiovisual documentation in modes that informed one another. My creative writing has always accompanied an imaginary and phenomenological visualizing of spaces: where the action could be taking place. While making Novel, I documented places, which corresponded to these phenomenally imagined. Spatial documentations inspired new imaginary settings, in this way maintaining a continuous loop in the creative process. I questioned whether the diverse documented material shared anything in common, and in response I recognized that they reflected similar spatial and topological qualities. Effectively, they all sprang from the imaginary visualization of space.
Bringing still and moving images into a sequential media format enabled me to reconstruct, if only in memory, the phenomenal experiences of the cities of my temporary dwellings. In this way I was able to present photographs, videos and sounds at variable speeds and scales; for instance, the same places would appear consecutively or overlapping eachother to mediate a sense of spatial thickness in the flow of images. This seamless presentation allowed for the mediation of experiences of incompleteness and changeability, which I considered to be representative of the encountered experiences of ephemerality and transience in contemporary global urbanisms. Technologies enabled the reworking of the documentations into creative mediations of my nomadic experiences of continuity between self and place. Having only documented places whose particular spatiotemporality affected me, photography and audiovisual recordings provided mediations of sensory and temporal fusings between self and the spaces of transient inhabitation. These affective mediations were then transformed into tactile images, which were reconstructed by digitally processing the material resonances of surfaces and objects. In turn, creative writing was translated into affective inscriptions, which were added as subtitles onto the audiovisual streams. I recognized that my documentations of urban spaces had not been dependent upon conventional optics. In memory and in creative imagination, the cities of Novel were reconstructed as a series of images taken out of a personal photographic album. This knowledge opened up two lines of conceptual inquiry: first, one that follows the idea that visual perception is unfocused vision; and secondly, one that allows for the existence of a subjective, almost psychical, dimension of spatial apprehension. Visuality and spatial visualisation operate beyond the objective focused vision, in the realms of intuition and imagination. In phenomenological terms, the notion of sight can also be reconsidered as embodied vision: a less optical vision, which is closer to habitual and tactile perceptions.

Psychoanalytic theories offered a framework for reflecting on the techniques of translation from one medium to another. Psychoanalysis has addressed the creative potential of subjective encounters with the objective reality of cities and architecture. In making Novel, the mechanisms of free association offered a conceptual background for rethinking spatial experiences through associative chains, but also for employing different techniques of mediation. These consisted of selective incorporations of imagistic fragments from architectural environments and their technical mediations into forms of psychic representations, such as writing and audiovisual media, while merging them together into new narrative structures. Freud’s dream-work is a good example of a psychic operation, in which the raw materials of the dream create a series of images with a narrative sense that is the dream we narrate. Yet this storytelling does not occur in any kind of order. The raw materials are subject to the activity of the unconscious, whereby a psychological impulse seeks the repetition of an achieved satisfaction by finding again the sense perception that accompanied it. Elisabeth Wright has argued that,
“since more is included in the perception than the conscious mind can recognize, this perceptual sorting is not some pre-given recognition, but a perceptual ‘identifying’ of sensory patterns, complexes of color, shape and sound across time.” (xiii)
Therefore a stream of associations takes place, which brings this material, piece-by-piece, into the dream-stories to articulate narratives. (xiv) Furthermore, as Wright argues, associations operate through a number of subversions and distortions; such as the condensation of words and images, displacement, or substitution, which can turn a chronological succession of events into an image that collapses them all in spatial proximity.(xv) Free association renders narrative into a spatial rather than a temporal unfolding. Despite written over the period of a year, the fictive text itself was composed of fragments: thoughts, imaginary recreations of events, dreams, and memories, which, inspired by travelling, had more of a topological rather than a chronological quality. This offered an indication that Novel would be spatial, rather than temporal.




The Scientific Image of Man: Contemporary philosopher Wilfrid Sellars revisits empiricist philosophy to consider the problem of immediate sense perception. In itself, this does not consist of a problem in the tradition of classical empiricism, where it is addressed by the notion of a preconceptual given. (xvi) Sellars explains that this preconceptual given persists in our ability to distinguish one experience, as a sort of experience, which is common to optical vision, in response to qualitative and ontological views of things, as long as we acquire a direct naming, discover the exemplary sort of this experience, and name it conceptually ‘φ’, and from then on categorise every such experience as ‘φ’ experience.(xvii) Sellars suggests instead that the problematic of sense perception is reconfigured on Humean principles, which presuppose that the main elements of sense experience are taken as properties rather than as sense perceptions. Based on this presupposition, the consciousness of sorts or repeatables, which determine direct experience, rests on a linguistic association between words and classes of resembling particulars.(xviii) Sellars inquires into the prioritization of the use of language, in order to explain the knowledge of abstract entities, even of properties of sorts, through a psychological nominalism. Nonetheless, he acknowledges that such an approach limits the relationship between word and object, to a relationship between word and the natural object, instead of word and a class of properties. This acknowledgment implies a distinction between two determinate universals as dependent on falling under different determinables, (xix) which complies with his view that knowledge of universals is non-empirically founded; for instance, in the case of actual universals, as opposed to merely possible ones, that the world has not yet known of.(xx) The above can be taken as evidence of Sellars’ explicit effort to reconcile the rationalist with the empiricist traditions in modern philosophy.(xxi)
The Sellarsian pre-conceptual given belongs to Sellars’ proto-theory of the manifest image of man, which rejects the pre-conceptual given and its foundationalist underpinnings. In Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, Sellars’ interpretation of the tradition of classical empiricism brings forth a state of knowledge, which consists in the direct apprehension of mental events, as internalised impressions, and which are the result of the impingement of physical objects on different parts of the body, for instance on the eye. Positioned in the epistemic area of classical empiricism, which clearly distinguishes between knowledge derived from direct apprehension and knowledge derived from a conceptual understanding, empirical foundationalism becomes the target of the Sellarsian critique. This is due to empirical foundationalism’s appointing considerable epistemic significance to the first type of knowledge, along with epistemic validity to certain beliefs associated with direct apprehension, without them deriving in an inferentialist manner from other beliefs. Sellars articulates sceptical views about the concept itself of the foundationalism of empirical knowledge, since the latter has the capacity to self-correct, thus it does not necessarily presuppose a foundationalism. Despite expressing doubts about the replacement of a picture of the world, dependent on a descriptive ontology and grounded on common sense, by a purely scientific image, Sellars recognises science as an extension of empirical knowledge, since it contains the ability to dismiss and reassess previously accepted knowledge. While Sellars advocates a familiarity of philosophy with science, he is also cautious about taking science as the ultimate model of analysis and of description of things: “of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not.”(xxii)



Global Topologies: Retrospectively, I recognise that making Novel was a personal process of inhabiting new environments. During the time I spent working on the project, I was dividing my life between cities and countries, which were foreign to me. These activities enabled me to occupy, in creative mediation, an intermediate, transitional realm between my subjectivity, as the nomad, the passer-by, the temporary dweller, the stranger, and unfamiliar spatial and sociocultural settings. Consequently, I would argue that visualizations and narrations of experiences of contemporary urbanisms provide intermediate terrains for subjects to occupy. Beyond the primary understandings of the subjective self as separate from externalities, one can gain insights into objectivity by learning more about their subjectivities. Subjective perceptions, such as peripheral vision, may provide the raw materials of urban dream-works to be applied onto technical mediations of contemporary urbanisms. The uses of architectural space are not limited to physical and embodied occupations. They also involve psychic and creative appropriations, which enable collective understandings and interpretations of contemporary global urbanisms and the accelerated changes of their spatial and sociocultural complexities.
Practitioners, who work with the raw materials of public space and differing local and global notions and practices of community, recognize the significance of subjectivities in determining specific geographies and locales. In Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, Claire Bishop addressed the ethical and political issues surrounding artistic practices, which work with communities following participatory methods. (xxiii) Despite her concerns about the artistic value of socially engaged practices, which articulate their creative work solely in relational rather than aesthetic terms, and so they remain comparatively closer to non-artistic social interventions, Bishop considers their emphasis on process, rather than on product, of political significance, for it inverts capitalist modes of cultural reception and production.(xxiv) In her critical commentary of several socially engaged public art practices, Bishop places equal emphasis on the affective experiences, which are generated by the social exchanges fostered in these practices, but also on the sociocultural and political impact of these experiences. Similarly, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick addressed the affective significance of cultural practices and the technological objects of their production, in terms of how they can provide psychic sustenance to individuals and communities:
“What we can best learn from such practices are, perhaps, the many ways selves and communities succeed in extracting sustenance from the objects of a culture – even of a culture whose avowed desire has often been not to sustain them.”(xxv)
In Outing Texture, Renu Bora has connected phenomenological experiences of material cultures, such as “materials, art, clothing, bodies, furniture, and architecture”, with “social, historical and psychic forces.” (xxvi)  Bora specifically acknowledges the ideological values of the material cultures of contemporary urbanisms, which derive from traditions of collective phantasmatic engagements in Western practices of imperialism and colonialism. Bora develops her critical account to a great extent around the specific psychoanalytic discourse of the fetish, which describes material culture objects as commodity objects of psychic desire structured around “connotations of taste, wit, and socioeconomic power.” (xxvii) Her account offers a broad insight into the affective processes, which shape our subjective, social and ideological, as much as psychological, experiences of postmodern global urbanisms. Sara Ahmed has also examined the sociocultural and political dimensions of the affective aspects of material cultures, which can bind individuals and communities together in relation to specific topologies. Drawing upon phenomenological interpretations of the notions of emotion and orientation, Ahmed examines the public realms of affectivity, in terms of social and cultural practices, rather than as psychological states. (xxviii) As Ahmed argues, these practices condition our relational experiences with material culture objects: our reactions of ‘towardness’ or ‘awayness’ from these objects. Ahmed grounds her phenomenological accounts in critical analyses of public media and literary texts, which she considers to be indicative of post-imperialist and post-colonialist discourses laden with ideological representations of race, gender, sexuality, and social class. For Ahmed, as for Bora, our contact with an object and our orientation towards this, or the other, object are deeply embedded in social, cultural and ideological practices, which are not external to our subjectivities.
In the account of making Novel, I stressed the significance of subjective experiences in their artistic formalizations as sensory and narrative-based mediations, which are rooted in phenomenological and psychoanalytic understandings of contemporary urbanisms and their associated material, sociocultural, and ideological manifestations. Such qualitative documentations can provide terrains for researchers and creative practitioners to explore the rapidly changing aspects of contemporary urbanisms in dialectical ways, by fostering juxtapositions between subjects and objects, perceptions and the perceived, temporalities and spaces. Novel is a sequence of flux comprised of ephemeral perceptions, poetic practice, and creative appropriations of documented images, sounds, and texts, which served as technical mediations between different urban environments and the self as their temporary inhabitant. If to adapt is to create, to go beyond existing narratives, it could be, after all, that Novel is simply a story about understanding contemporary urbanisms in ways already known, but which have not yet been taken full advantage of. Creative practices of mediation may well foster practices of self-sustenance in contemporary precarious conditions of globalized urbanisms. This recognition may offer new ways to reevaluate the role of the subject as a creative actor in everyday life, who is capable of critiquing and reforming established conceptions of architectural spaces, cities, urban subjectivities, and their respective relationships with each other.



Metaphor in Socratic AtopiaAtopia has been defined as an unusual way of philosophizing and as a non-conventional social stance. Philosophically, atopia finds its reference in the Platonic philosophizing subject, who, by virtue of its philosophizing, creates a new expression of atopia. Socrates is an example of philosophical atopia. In Socratic philosophy, instincts are transformed into philosophical logos, which signifies simultaneously a conciliatory act between theoretical reflection and art, as techne, as well as an effort to liberate philosophical practice from rationality, which in turn dissociates philosophy from instincts. (xxix) In the Nietszchean sense, the latter leads to a dissociation of philosophy from art. Nietszche uses the metaphor of the mask to describe the expressive medium of philosophical logos. Nonetheless, he forewarns about the mask, as an expressive medium bringing forth a fragmentation of philosophical practice, initially to address Platonically derived criticisms, and only to argue further that such fragmentation may succeed in becoming transformed into orchesis amongst the multiplicity of the masks.(xxx) For Nietszche, this orchesis secures the authenticity of philosophical practice and defines the Platonic philosophizing subject as the philosopher-artist. (xxxi) 
Contemporary philosopher Sarah Kofman draws from the traditions of Nietszche, Plato and Aristotle to mention the inversion of the relationship between metaphor and concept in modern philosophy: metaphor does not refer to concept any more, but rather concept refers to metaphor. (xxxii)  In Nietzsche and Metaphor, Kofman argues that this inversion signifies a transference or transit, which is not conceived in topological terms anymore, as a relocation from one place to another, but as a metaphor in itself; thus as a transformation of the self, and a relocation of the ontological truth, as the truth of Being, to the realm of symbolic languages.(xxxiii) Kofman’s gesture reconstitutes philosophical practice as critical practice by putting forth questions about the authenticity of contemporary philosophy, especially in its relationship with logos, techne and the sciences. In my view, this gesture opens up the grounds for rethinking the contemporary philosophical project.




The video Novel has been exhibited at:

2015. Afterimage Online: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism.

2007. Single Channel Digital Video with Text. 3rd Athens Video Art Festival, Athens, Greece; 'Video as Urban Condition', Videopool Archive, Austrian Cultural Forum, Austria; 'Her Shorts', International Women's Video Art Festival, Plugged Art, USA.


Written between 2012 and 2018, the essay Novel is self-published here for the first time.