love birds, kitten, bermuda, california.
things inside other things, sorted perfectly, labeled and tagged. to other people, though, it’s a hot mess of visual noise. actually, it is a mess that aspires to a vague kind of sorting that even i don’t understand.
mostly acquired through inheritance, discards, swaps, rummaging and thrifting. almost everything new is machinery, material and equipment for making things.
i hate to pick favourites. for me, objects live in community to gain value. in a fire, though, i would grab my photo albums and journals. i would be really upset about a fire.
(L – R)
Harmony lap steel, 1950s: USA
Taishogoto, date unknown: Japan
Shamisen, date unknown: Japan
Franz Schwarzer zither, 1890s: USA
(L – R)
Quan Yin: China, an inheritance from Jenna’s grandmother.
Bodhisattva: Burma, bought at an antique shop in Rangoon.
Our Mother of Guadalupe: Latin America, bought at a Dollarama in Montreal.
Hanuman: India, bought in Delhi.
The displacement of the living and the organic took place rapidly with the early development of the machine. For the machine was a counterfeit of nature, nature analyzed, regulated, narrowed, controlled by the mind of men. The ultimate goal of its development was however not the mere conquest of nature but her resynthesis: dismembered by thought, nature was put together again in new combinations: material syntheses in chemistry, mechanical syntheses in engineering.
- Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization (1934)
(Clockwise, from left to right): Access to my great-grandfather’s Japanese bank account; Break and enter; Biometrics; Speeding ticket.
• A means by which something is communicated or expressed: here the Welsh language is the medium of instruction.
• The substance in which an organism lives or is cultured.
• A liquid (e.g. oil or water) with which pigments are mixed, with a binder, to make paint.
• The middle quality or state between two extremes; a reasonable balance:the song soon discovers a happy medium between thrash and catchy pop.
• An agency or means of doing something:using the latest technology as a medium for job creationtheir primitive valuables acted as a medium of exchange.
• The intervening substance through which sensory impressions are conveyed or physical forces are transmitted: radio communication needs no physical medium between the two stations.
• A particular form of storage material for computer files, such as magnetic tape or discs.
• The material or form used by an artist, composer, or writer:oil paint is the most popular medium for glazing.
• (Plural mediums) A person claiming to be in contact with the spirits of the dead and to communicate between the dead and the living.
Kombucha: Schizosaccha-romyces pombe, Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Pichia fermentans, Saccharomyces apiculatus, Bacterium xylinum, B. xylinoides, Acetobacter ketogenum, Acetobacter aceti, B. gluconicum
Sourkraut: Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, Pedicoccus
Bread: Saccharmyces cervisiae
Beer: Saccharmyces cervisiae
“Order is, at one and the same time, that which is given in things as their inner law, the hidden network that determines the way they confront one another, and also that which has no existence except in the grid created by a glance, an examination, a language; and it is only in the blank spaces of this grid that order manifests itself in depth as though already there, waiting in silence for the moment of its expression.” Michel Foucault, The Order of Things
“These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; sons were born to them after the flood. The sons of Japheth; Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras…” Genesis 10:1
“The following day, Bioy called me from Buenos Aries. He told me he had before him the article on Uqbar, in volume XLVI of the encyclopedia. The heresiarch’s name was not forthcoming, but there was a note on his doctrine, formulated in words almost identical to those he had repeated, though perhaps literally inferior. He had recalled: Copulation and mirrors are abominable. The text of the encyclopedia said: For one of those gnostics, the visible universe was an illusion or (more precisely) a sophism. Mirrors and fatherhood are abominable because they multiply and disseminate that universe.” Jorge Luis Borges, Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
“Categorization is not a matter to be taken lightly. There is nothing more basic than categorization to our thought, perception, action, and speech.” - George Lakoff, Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things
I’m currently leasing my desk to some physicists working on entropy. I tidy every so often and get angry phone calls. I like the connections that disorder makes me produce. And its harder for serendipity to function when you’re hedging against thing getting lost.
The internet, the dumpster at the Japanese retirement home where my grandma lives…
I’m surrounded by a lot of old and unique things that I really treasure. But I’d have to say that I’m really attached to an old glass stamp with my last name in Kanji. My great-grandfather used it to do his banking and official business.