ISSN : 2266-6060

Zones

pedestrian

It’s easy to understand what signposts do to space. They help to transform it into places. Signs perform territories, jurisdictions, ie delimited portions of land that are not only named, but also organized, even politicized. Once you pass a sign, you’re supposed to understand where you are, and know what kind of rules you have to apply, behaviors that are forbidden or required. But the action of signs is actually much wider. In demarcating certain sites, they perform the rest of the world as well, at least the surroundings, which they implicitly, though very clearly, designate as “somewhere else”. As different places, where things are not exactly the same. This two-way spatial production is striking when you drive in Los Angeles, especially if you come from a European country. As soon as you face a sign that reads “pedestrian safety zone”, you realize what it means. Except for the other tiny zones displaying the same kinds of signs, the rest of the city is a gigantic territory within which pedestrians are officially endangered.