Research into archaic societies may constitute a precious starting point for the understanding of the historical manner in which human beings have been relating to experience. As such, and as far as this issue is concerned, it is the case that for many thousands of years humans relied on anthropomorphic strategies (cubit, palm of the hand, foot, thumb) to measure distances, strategies which were moulded on the assertion of the Greek Protagoras for whom “man is the measure of all things”. This was the period in which, in accordance with the dichotomy established by Claude Lévi-Strauss, cold societies (archaic) predominated which, in finding themselves “outside history” (as such simply because it had escaped them), blended a mythical and magical thinking where: (i) change was not valued, or that is, functioning as a watch, it produced little entropy is so far as it would periodically return to the point of equilibrium which would end up reproducing a stable and harmonious pattern to inherited forms; (ii) Art, as an expression of language (signs of represented objects) of the social group, was produced and consumed collectively with the final purpose of establishing order. With the gradual distancing of human beings from nature and the consequent path towards culture, they would give way to hot societies (modern) mediated by scientific thinking and knowledge, societies where, on the one hand, rapid changes and innovation were extolled since they simulated steam engines, producing their energy from a constant oscillation between order and imbalance (entropy), i..e moving “within history”, more dynamically emphasising the power and progress inherent in technological innovation; on the other hand, as far as Art was concerned, this, given its essentially mimetic nature (mirror-image of the represented object), was “losing” the dimension of its meaning, and individualised through consumption, becoming valued as appropriation and the possession of objects.
The apparent reduction of the importance of space should not however make us forget that velocity, given its differentiated access (a privilege of some), polarises the human condition. Thus explaining, despite what is “in constant movement” (even if physically at rest), establishing a permanent mark in actual experience, it is also true that not everything moves at the same velocity - indeed, the contrary. Thus, as undesired consequences of the process, it can on the one hand be mentioned that capital, transporting with it only hand baggage, travels light (unlimited mobility), but work, however, remains fixed, but no longer possesses its former solidity (restricted mobility). On the other hand, knowing equally that the degree of mobility is different according to the position occupied by the individual in the stratification or, if we prefer, according to if he/she is a tourist, i.e. globalised rich, or a vagabond, that is, localised poor, we can easily conclude that the “technological annihilation of distances”, at the same time as “emancipating human beings from territorial restrictions”, “lays bare the land, on which others continue to be confined” (Zygmunt Bauman, 1998: 25; cf. 2000).