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Abstract

In his article "The Chi Complex and Ambiguities of Meeting" Paul Carter develops a discussion of interpersonal encounters by mobilizing an apparatus of references, ranging from Jean Genet to Lévinas, Derrida, Bachmann, Merleau-Ponty, and Arendt. The hypothesis is that meeting another person entails and subsumes a non-meeting; a resistance and a refusal. The article pursues the ambiguity at the heart of encountering the other through an investigation of the urban spaces that are allegedly designed to invite and facilitate meetings. The argument put forward is that these spaces are paradoxically designed to avert encounters. This is especially true in the context of a "new social, economic, and institutional life that seems to call into question the very existence of the collectivities referred to as 'community' or 'society'." The unfolding of this proposition describes a space and a topography that are open, supple, and capable of "mutual transformations." The Greek letter Chi, both in its meaning of chaos and Chora ("a process of cleavage in its double meaning"), is employed as a theoretical example of a place that defies rigidity and closeness and that invites us to linger and pause in order to allow the other to meet and be met.

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