Friday, January 21, 2011

Something to think on: "The exciting absence of certainty"

Gyroscope balancing on string
Another turning point ... this is a golden age of error. Photograph: Paul Hardy/Corbis

"The exciting absence of certainty" is a post from Jonathan Jones on At Blog - Art critic with the UK's Guardian. Its a concise comment for the curious who might from time to time ponder String theory or other contemporary fields of scientific thought.
In fact... worthy of sharing for the seeds of thought it ponders on a number of matters in contemporary life. Take a look:

January 20th he writes:

I recently read a book called The Trouble With Physics, by physicist Lee Smolin. I was also reading The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene. No need to worry – this is not one of those blogs where I sound off about a subject like string theory from my unique perspective as an art critic, and enraged string theorists line up to put me right. My theme today is not science but certainty, and the exciting absence of it in our world.
Smolin questions the most ambitious contemporary theories in science. Greene is a champion of those same "string" theories. It looks as if the state of physics is at an interesting point, if it is simultaneously close to the definitive grand theory of everything and – claims Smolin – simultaneously at the edge of an abyss of unknowing.
Which makes it a good image of these times. Ours is essentially a tragic age, wrote DH Lawrence in the early 20th century, so we refuse to take it tragically. Of the early 21st century one might say: ours is essentially an ambiguous age, so we refuse to take it ambiguously.
To look around the world today is to see conflicting certainties everywhere, from the bitter American political discourse blamed by somefor the Tuscon shootings to ... Well, to right here, right now, where online argument sometimes – though far from always – seems like an unwinnable contest between different positions.
In reality, the virtue of blogs and the comments they attract lies in the diversity of opinion in itself: so does the value of democracy. This is surely obvious, yet we do not say it often. It seems it is very difficult to acknowledge that (a) we may be wrong, and (b) the most valuable quality of our culture is the right to be wrong, loudly.
The Russian cultural theorist Mikhail Bakhtin was brave enough to praise the mess of reality. He espoused dialogue and multiplicity of viewpoint – a "carnivalesque" freedom – as a value in art and life. He wrote in an age when physicists were discovering some perturbing things about the universe, such as the fact that electrons can be in two places at once.
Debate has never been so popular, online and even in the flesh. We may disagree passionately, but what we need to recognise is that it is the free flow of opinion and contradiction that is the cultural achievement. Certainties abound, but they die on the rocks of doubt. Let's be glad that we live in the golden age of error.

"the free flow of opinion and contradiction that is the cultural achievement"
That I think is a good thought for the day.


(via thiswillhurt)
posted at seed capsules - my new tumblr site


Found poem by Mary Ruefle (1952- ) from A Little White Shadow.  Ruefle used white-out to selectively erase words from a work originally published in 1889.
(Image via Poetry Foundation)
read more here.


Jason Karolak, Untitled (2010)
Jason Karolak - read more here.

click here

Art does not lie down on the bed that was made for it; it runs away as soon as one says its name; it loves to be incognito. Its best moments are when it forgets what it is called.
Jean Dubuffet
(via ilobanna)


Edgar Mosa, Di Indigetes via apparat
read more here


Marian Bijlenga, Untitled (by upload)
Marian Bijlenga - read more here.


andren - read more here

so... ambiguity... all these images are posted at seed capsules - my new tumblr blog.


read more here.

On a more personal note.... have been flat out doing a major overhaul of office/studio and living spaces.
Why have I got warranties saved from things that are 25 yrs old and and I no longer own? And and account book from an art-related business I had from 17 years ago? Some of these things I saved from a house fire, endless relocations ... you name it. 
So out with the old and in with the space.
love this quote 
Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind, large ones weaken it.
Leonardo da Vinci, from Journals, p. 509. (via aubade)

It happens that I presently live in postage-size rooms ... so of course I love this quote. OK ...postage size is an exaggeration.  But there's cerrtainly no room for all the things Ive saved so a radical attempt at decluttering is ongoing till I achieve  a feeling of knowing what exists in every nook and cranny of my abode.
and before I go check out this wonderful story... started by a blogger... with a friend on board and social media thrown in to the mix...
2 days ago I signed on to Baked Relief to offer some help. Started by Danielle Crismani of 

Danielle, or Digella...yes she's a big fan, decided to bake some cupcakes for volunteers working to sandbag the area near her home before the river rose to flood the city. She blogged about it, and then others came forward offering help. 10 days or so  later she thinks maybe a thousand people are baking and delivering food... plus they started an initiative for people to volunteer to feed a family once a week for months to come. Through twitter, blogging, facebook etc...its created waves of response...and they keep noticing suburbs further out that have been ignored... then finding people to go there with food.... and other things. There is nothing like grass-roots.... and not  waiting for authorities "to do something"! 
Read more by Mel Kettle, the other organsational whiz, on  baked relief  and how this initiative spread like wildfire across Brisbane and beyond. 

Baked relief volunteers going to recovery sites with lunch.

Lockyer Feed-a-thon
I took down contacts for the project and will touch base with them in the coming weeks once the roads are open and we can get their safely.
In short, the Lockyer Feed-a-thon project will provide ongoing support to Esk area and Lockyer valley by way of home cooked meals.  With the ongoing support of chefs in commercial kitchens, Baked Relief volunteers and chefs will be cooking and safely storing meals for transportation in refrigerated trucks out to these areas.
For as long as we have finances and for as long as I can run this project I will continue to manage this work. I am hoping for at least 6 months.
Providing a meal to a family affected by floods might not seem like enough, but it shows that we care and it gives them a night off from cooking.
As I always say “Food always tastes better when someone else cooks it”
If you would like to be involved in this project or our other project supporting the Metro areas called Adopt a Family, please go to the website and follow the links.
Some interesting posts I thought you might like
Remember go to website HERE

Ive been emailing another volunteer called Lisa who I've never met - she and I are making lunch for a volunteer spot on sunday. We'll meet at the delivery site. Somehow I think a lot of connections are being forged at the otherwise very difficult time for many ... some amazing volunteer efforts are going on daily... and so much creativitiy. I read of Fisher and Paykel - washing machine manufacturers yesterday setting up temporary washing machine units for the flood affected to wash all their things.
All I hope is that the initiative and involvement thats kicked off here is something we see more of well into the future... So many people said they could not watch any more TV ... they had to go do something.
Well... here's to life beyond TV!
cheers all,
Sophie x


Mlle Paradis said...

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY Sophie!!!!!!! Brilliant post all the way around. Knew the excitement of uncertainty had to come back to how all you Ozzies are handling your catastrophe. And knew it had to be this good in the worst of circumstances.

As for tumblr sites and sort out old papers: i had to buy myself i giant filing cabinet in November and accordingly i so do NOT have time for a tumblr site of my own. But girl, you finding some good stuff! Loved the necklace.

Robyn said...

Hi Sophie...
this is a magnificent post and one that I am going to return to again soon.

At the moment I am in the middle of making fresh strawberry sauce to serve with ice cream... and it is calling me 'don't let me burn'.

see you soon xx

Anonymous said...

This post kind of just grew Mlle Paradis! First the engaging remarks from the newspaper critic... I was consequently reminded of the images from tumblr... then clearing my space at home was punctuated with reading twitter reports from Baked Relief... the cause of much wonder as each time I checked in something amazing had just been donated or happened.
Not only that ... I did not really know how to use twitter till 2 days ago when in my excitement to participate some new neural pathways actually fired and bingo...i could tweet! I did sign on to twitter a year ago... but 6 tweets in a year? ...tragic! I just never got it!
I then started following (at twitter) all the venues I like to visit the state library ... and realised there was no better way to see how these places were coping with flood damage and learn when they might reopen!
So of course I had to tell of baked relief... and now I am back home from a wonderful evening in the city having drinks and eats with a bunch of great people at a place that narrowly escaped flooding. The evening was perfect... in temperature and companionship. Stories being traded of the flood and last month... most of us not seeing each other for quite some time... and meeting new people.
Such a lovely mellow atmosphere! Grateful people... touched at all the caring they have witnessed. Some affected more than others... but everyone just pleased that things are safe now and there is such a strong sense of community.
Loved you message MP... it topped off a perfect evening... a big smile on my face thank you... My filing system isn't great bur improving and it sure helps to feel this organised... although not finished yet!
have a good weekend you!
S xo

Anonymous said...

I hope you come back because i posted on you today at the Homage blog...I must email and tell you to look!
I love strawberry sauce...I find it has the most divine aroma.... and is brill with ice cream... a marriage made in heaven.
Glad you came by...thanks for lovely thoughts Robyn!
S xo

ArtPropelled said...

The bug has certainly bitten you too! Great Tumblr images Sophie.

Anonymous said...

So many wonderful images! I of course have become addicted to your tumblr site! sigh... as for the rest? Isn't is amazing how welcome a meal or clean clothes are after a disaster? It becomes that basics that we welcome so much!
Well done Sophie as always!

Anonymous said...

Hi Robyn ( AP)
Its amazing how one can spend 5 mins here and 10 there at Tumblr and get something happening. I do find it quick ... and as you say... compelling!
And there is that curatorial element to it... although sometimes I throw that out the window and just go for quirky... ever eclectic!
Great how we bump into each other there...or I spy something I love ... and find its been posted by you!

Tumblr actually helped me understand how to work twitter Mary. I dont use facebook... so I was mystified... retweet... reblog... did not get that at first!
Yes..... the taste of real food as opposed to things from the production line is I think really comforting.
...and feeling clean and fresh after all the mud and smell and destruction.
Very soothing and restorative!
Have a great weekend!
S xo

nathalie et cetera said...

great post indeed. a feast of food for thoughts! Love the quotes! Especially the first one. People seem to have forgotten to be curious. Fear is all over. So much so that it scares me.... hmmm!
Oh and not only was he a great artist and scientific but I see that Da Vinci was also very down to hearth. What a clever man! I live in a small space too :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathalie,
its a biggie at this time...we have so many more vehicles for communication of things that can make us fearful.... curiosity definitely has merit!
Glad you enjoyed the Da Vinci quote... all of us who live in small spaces should unite and declare it positively mind-expanding... and fly the flag.
I tell you... when the talk comes to sustainability I know living smaller can help the eco-footprint too.
Australians... at last survey... had the biggest homes in the world and work the longest hours in the world. 20 years ago that was SO different.

Now many have big homes built on what was likely to be either an intact natural habitat or farming land... the new places are often all concrete and not a skerrick of grass, trees or outdoors space ... with not that much happening in those houses necessarily ... and all fully air-conditioned is the usual scenario.
My circumstance is a long way from that and I celebrate the fact. I have to be incredibly sure I want something before I buy it... another good aspect of living small. All that restless acquisitive energy is put to trawling the net for great ideas and art and sharing that with others....which is socially connective and one is always learning!
Have a great week.. enjoyed your comments nat!

Anonymous said...

very meaty post my dear..

but wonderful to hear of some grass roots stuff happening

via the baking..

and the links you have offered here....

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Grrl,
I have to tell you...
india did a great post on the "pollinator frock"... she watched the video and learnt what was involved and frankly I should have too... looking pretty dubious as an idea after her research ... maybe works as a way of getting attention to the subject of bees...
but wishing I'd done my homework first.
Did the bake-off this morning and delivered a very large quinoa, roast veg and rocket salad to the QLD VOL centre ... It was good to see eyes light up at the sight of all the colours in this dish. (those roast red pepper, beetroot and carrots were the jewels with some pomegranate seeds on top!)
My mother's chocolate slice was looking pretty good too (weetbix with cocoa works wonders!)

Hope you have a great pop-up shop experience... wish I could pop in!!! I would bring you some chocie slice and drink tea and watch the world for a while!