Restless containers: thinking interior space – across cultures
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In Innenraum denken (Thinking Interior Space), a section in the first volume of his Spheres trilogy (1998, 1999b, 2004), German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk describes human relations as being akin to containers that restlessly enclose and exclude each other (1998: 85). To him, humans are “wild interior architects”, labourers who incessantly craft their lodgement in imaginary “sonorous, semiotic, ritual, [and] technological containers” (1998: 84). While producing their own enclosures, they are no less encompassed in those of others, into which they are unavoidably thrown upon leaving that most primal of spheres, the womb. In this way, Sloterdijk’s positing of a complex overlapping landscape of containment and containing unsettles crude inside/outside divisions. Internationally, he is held to be a philosopher who has returned questions of ontological being, or being-in-the world, to a spatial arena: being-in-the world is being-in-space. Co-existence (Mit-Sein) precedes existence (Dasein). The sense of self pervading Sloterdijk’s explorations is essentially plural. 1 The individual is never alone.