Abstract

The article first examines the interrelationship between time and space in Giorgio Agamben's formulation of messianic utopianism. While time has been given a privileged position in Agamben's philosophy of potentiality, I attempt to uncover the equally important spatial logic of potentiality. In particular, I examine four spatial figures that appear throughout his books: the stanza, limbo, the door, and the operational image. The operational image is the most interesting precisely because it illustrates the interrelationships between time and space within his overall theory of the messianic. The notion of weak utopianism that I develop is connected directly with the question of education. For Agamben, the action that, more than any other, represents the messianic moment is the act of studying, or studious play. The temporality of weak utopianism is not simply the messianic time of the now but also the temporality of perpetual study, where the student holds judgment in suspension in order to experience the potentiality of thought itself. Likewise the space of weak utopianism can be thought of as an educational space. In conclusion, I illustrate the educational importance of weak utopianism through an example taken from school architecture exemplifying the inherently educational dimension of Agamben's messianic utopianism.

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