David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

28 August 2011

Re. creating the curator

THE AUSTRALIAN frequently takes pot shots at postmodern regard.

A few, quickly gathered
A postmodernist parliament (article here)
The Australian July 02, 2011
IF that was the new paradigm, we must now have entered the postmodern paradigm...

Paralysed by postmodernism (article here)
The Australian August 06, 2008
From a fashionable idea to a rigidly imposed dogma, its effect on some of our brightest students has been pernicious, writes Gavin Kitching

It's half-time, the game plan isn't working, it's time to start running into walls full-speed ( article here )
The Australian August 03, 2010
THE campaign has become post-modern and it's hard to tell the fakes from the phonies.
Julia Gillard yesterday : ...

The headline
In search of old meanings and lost information

by Amanda Bell, in today's Weekend Australian ( article here )
might well have indicated another such. Not so.

It was the sub-heading, in the paper edition, that first caught our attention:
Are our views being sculpted by social networks and search engines?

bLOGOS/HA HA is interested in view, views, viewers, regard, the act and the actors of looking et al. So, it was the first part of the question we particularly savored: Are our views being sculpted?

A prosaic reading of this asks if our views are being formed, being shaped by these certain forces. The article, however, is written by the creative principle of a Grammar School, pictured in the article with her students in a visual arts class (see photo below). Hence, the nuanced make-verb to sculpt. And thus, our reading here, that (one's/our) view can be (regarded as/viewed as) sculpture. View as sculpture.

The second part of the question relates to the tools of the sculptor/sculpting : ...by social networks and search engines?

The article is peppered with c words, concentrating on two: creativity and curator. Bell provides evidence - news here - that those who previously chose to name themselves as artist, now also claim themselves as curator.
Examples of the exponential up-take of the term curate in all its applications include a bank executive describing their customer engagement strategy as "curating memories"; an online author announcing content curation to be a new kind of authorship; an article on innovation applauding the emergence of "choice curation"; a journalist describing how they will "curate a list" of the world's 100 most powerful women; and a Twitter profile that describes the account owner as "curating interestingness".
The gist of concern...
While a concern here may be about the right to purloin specialised language such as creativity and curator and randomly change the application and meaning with overuse, it could be argued from a postmodern perspective that this is legitimate adaptation.

But there is a more insidious implication when curatorship combines with content, knowledge and communication reservoirs; there is the inference that deep care, research and valuable scholarship underpins the role.

More likely, our access to content via online curators is being manipulated at its worst and randomly distilled at best.

Therefore, are our views being sculpted through the social media networks and by the search engines and, if so, will they become the most successful and powerful propaganda vehicles in history?
Perhaps to bring this article's theme full circle, Rosenbaum is also the author of Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers are Creators, which is a far cry from Keating's Creative Nation, where we were invited to imagine and develop an inspired future nearly two decades ago. What constitutes a curation nation is a scary thought, especially if we assume the traits of selecting, sifting and filtering apply.
Consider ( article here )

Amanda Bell with visual arts students ( photo : The Australian )
The student's open-fingered hand, in the centre of the photo, appears to be identifying with the tree she depicts with the other. Good get, that photographer. (Lyndon Mechielsen)

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...