Monthly Archives: January 2012

“It is, because I say so”

The Placebo Apothecary Workshop is an experimental attempt to give form and taste to a feeling or concern. Specifically we are interested in addressing how the expression of feelings into taste and smell can evoke notions of magic and power. Through a process of small drawings, conversation and consultation we will determine which feeling or concern or wish each child wants to address. Then we will start working on figuring out the tastes, smells, textures and colours for the potion or antidote. Spices, minerals and food will be mixed and ground, and eventually combined with mixing agents to aid the formation of a pill. A mixture of syrup, powdered gum arabic and honey can be used as mixing agents. Substances which are very soft are formed into the pilular mass by incorporation with dry powders, such as wheat flour, starch or crumbs of bread. Powders must be mixed with syrup, molasses, honey or glycerin. Once the pilular mass is created, the pill receive a spherical form by being rolled between the fingers. Each participant will leave with a pill that serve as potion or antidote for his or hers original concern, and along the way we will have had a series of conversations about medicine and magic.

Duration: on-going

Materials: various spices and food stuff such as bread, gum arabic, honey, flour and natural colorants such as cocoa, lavender, lemon, carotin and saffron.

Tools: Mortars, sieves, measuring cups and scales

Toverdrankje Wondermiddel Verandering
als ik anders was dan ik ben…

This is a children’s version of The Placebo Apothecary. Working from a Lucy booth I will be available for children to mix their own magic potion. Using conversation and consultation I will determine which feeling or concern or wish each child wants to address and we will work together to create a suitable magical solution. The potions are made from oil, water, vinagar, salts, food coloring and spices. The child will take the bottle away with them.

Duration: on-going

Age range:  3 – 10 years old

Materials: oil. water, various spices and natural colorants such as cocoa, lavender, lemon, carotin and saffron.

Tools: Mortars, sieves, measuring cups and scales


Making Things Public, Atmospheres of Democracy
Edited by Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel
This one is obvious, but also out of print and $500 on amazon : (

Man, Play and Games
by Roger Caillois

On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection
by Susan Stewart

Road Belong Cargo
by Peter Lawrence

Giving an Account of Oneself
by Judith Butler

The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property
by Lewis Hyde

The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies
by Marcel Mauss

Art as Experience
by John Dewey

Possibly maybe:

The Courage to Create
by Rollo May

Viktor Shklovsky???

Free Play: Power of Improvisation in Life and the Arts
by Stephen Nachmanovitch

Cultural Memory and the Construction of Identity
by Dan Ben-Amos

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Seven Patterns of Innovation
by Steven Johnson

What Technology Wants
by Kevin Kelly

Signs Taken for Wonders: Essays in the Sociology of Literary Forms
by Franco Moretti

Practical references:

How Are Things?: A Philosophical Experience
by Roger-Pol Droit

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo

Danielle has been my collaborator on the OWL project and lots of my current thinking is inspired by our exchange and collaboration. Danielle’s phd can be found here.

Danielle describes our collaboration like this:

“Like all of the collaborations discussed in this exegesis, ours is characterized by dialogical exchange. Our processes and outcomes embody shared and complementary research concerns. Importantly, I report here outcomes and reflections based on my direct experience with participants, though use the pronoun “we” to emphasise the dialogical nature of our process.”

here is a paper detailing the idea of the suitcase as phd, written by Daria Loi.

“Alternative thesis formats that include the use of artefacts should be considered when:

  • the researcher intends to be consistent with the content discussed in the thesis;
  • the researcher intends to show in action theories or tools discussed in the thesis;
  • the researcher finds textual means unsuitable for delivering specific notions;
  • the researcher is better at expressing content via non-textual means; and
  • the content the researcher intends to portray is non-textual.

In such circumstances artefacts have the role of opening up new ways of articulating, accessing, and communicating research, fostering innovation and new modes of delivering postgraduate research.”