Monthly Archives: January 2012

How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?

Meno, from Plato’s dialogue (in Solnit, 2005)

R. Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost (2005)

Susan Stewart, “On Longing”

the souvenir [object] both offers a measure for the normal and authenticates the experience of the viewer

The souvenir involved the displacement of attention into the past. (…) its function is to envelop the present with the past. Souvenirs are magical objects because of this transformation. Yet the magic of the souvenir is a kind of failed magic. Instrumentality replaces essence here as it does in the case of all magical objects, but this instrumentality always works on only partial transformation. The place of origin must remain unavailable in order for desire to be generated.

wyndham lewis. in manifesto – a century of isms
“bless all seafarers. the exchange not one land for another, but one element for another. the more against the less abstract. “

Oppenheimer: “scientists live always at the ‘edge of mystery’ – the boundary of the unknown. “
Rebecca Solnit, a field guide to getting lost: “scientist transform the unknown into the known, haul it in like fishermen; artist get you out into that dark sea.“

“Let me suggest the beginning toward some resolution of this problem of two cultures by turning to the thoughts of Robert Oppenheimer, one of my most distinguished predecessors as director of the Institute for Advanced Study. Four years before C P Snow’s lecture, Oppenheimer gave a lecture about two cultures; he used the categories of scientist and artist. He concluded that both scientists and artists had become highly specialized, isolated, and to some extent irrelevant to society. And he, like Snow, suggested that both groups expose themselves to other people – both to teach and to learn from those around them. The purpose of this exposure is not to dilute their own efforts, or to take orders from those who do not understand what they are doing. The proper role of scientists and artists, he said, is to “not merely find new truth and communicate it to his fellows, but that he teach, that he try to bring the most honest and intelligible account of new knowledge to all who will try to learn.” This teaching, when successful, is the first set of girders across the gulf between the two cultures. “

A manifesto for performative research

Haseman, Bradley C. (2006) A manifesto for performative research. Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy: quarterly journal of media research and resources, pp. 98-106.