Density, intensity and social exchange also redefine the debate around social justice. If only one months ago we used disposable income and its security as the main criterion for measuring inequality, today we add a new indicator: space. Just the category that seemed to count less and less.
Within this framework it seems reasonable to me to support the hypothesis that rather than a ‘break’ the condition being defined corresponds to the consolidation of a series of processes already underway, perhaps hitherto observed separately.
The decline of the idea of the house as a ‘structured’ space, as a place of ‘domesticity’ for the representation of family identity and its redefinition as an ‘equipped’ space, as a pre-modern, multi-use and ‘anti-domestic’ interior and to be inhabited as an exterior, is a phenomenon that has been a visible for at least 20 years. The house as a Kitchen Plaza, fueled by a Silent Trade of goods and food visible only through the flow of couriers and riders, as well as the spread of Hikikomori dwelling practices have long been known examples. It is a process accompanied by the transformation of the public space into air-conditioned, reclaimed and culturally controlled environments (‘the city as a home’, still recalling Alberti’s metaphor).
We could synthetically say that what is happening is an intensification of the inversion between inside and outside in the practices of dwelling.
This phenomenon of social distancing, that is separation considered as a value and not as a problem, speaks of the search for new forms and spaces of ‘freedom’. It is a conception of freedom very tied to the idea of ‘immunitarian democracy’. Freedom not as creation or as open interaction, but as protection.
Dilution, immunity, new injustices and socio-spatial claims: these phenomena also allude to the formation of new social bodies in search of their own spaces.
What does produce and how big are these bodies?
Sloterdijk in his book Stress and Freedom says that we need to look at ourselves as inhabitants of a simultaneously sick and pathogenic body that uses the concepts of immune system, side effect and defense mechanism as tools of care and survival. The disease generates stress and this is commonly considered to be a disturbance, a problem for society. But it is possible to have a different view. Stress is not something that endangers society, on the contrary, it is something that generates spaces, that creates subjects and social groups defining both the scale and the strategies to resist different types of challenges.