Welcome to the MFA|EDA’s inaugural 4th Friday Alumni 6Pack. We are pleased to kick off the new custom with Laurids Andersen Sonne, from the recently-graduated Class of 2018. Away we go:
Merlin bird ID
Lately I have found myself on walk-abouts with friends out in nature with binoculars hanging around my neck and Merlin bird ID installed on my phone, because who wants to carry a field guide around. Even if you have a field guide, the Merlin bird ID is a great tool for learning to see and understand more about the birds around you, if you are into that sort of thing.
Returning from one such foray out in the scolding summer, I found myself being prompted by my insistent housemate to “check yourself before you wreck yourself”, check myself for ticks that is.
While checking, I started to wonder about the tick as an animal; which I had really never done before, even as I have had dozens of these tiny critters latched onto my body, used odd old recipes to get it to release its fangs from my skin, like smearing myself in butter – thanks grandmother!
Jakob Von Uexküll
Did you know that a tick has no eyes and that it relies on its sense of smell to find its prey?
That it can easily go for four years between meals, and that a tick in a lab in Germany lived for eighteen years without feeding?
What an interesting little piece of shit a tick is! Von Uexküll argues that for a tick a moment in time is different than for us humans, for whom a moment lasts one eighteenth of a second, ok now, let’s have a moment.
If for a tick such a moment lasts much longer, does time then stand still for the tick, or does the tick then have a different perception of time? Maybe it is a circular perception of time? Or rather it might live within its own circle of time and space entirely different from other species.
I have been rather mesmerized by things that swivel, or spin around and around, such fun like a merry-go-round, or the fan on my ceiling, or hand in hand in a cornfield until dizzyingly tumbling over, Ohh, the Scandinavian pastime has long past. I’m not the first one to be mesmerized by such wonders, the spinning top is one of the world’s oldest toys, found in multiple ancient cultures around the globe, the mother of all spinning things, just spinning away.
Just like John Cale and Brian Eno who were also into spinning things I find myself being drawn to these objects which remain in place while in constant motion, I imagine this rather repetitive motion is in fact not repetition as it is full of unforeseen courses (even if predetermined) affected by and in conversation with its environment, landscape, wind, objects, bodies etc., yet tethered to an axis of which it is rotating.
Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett.
Maybe such a swiveling place, rotating around an axis in space is a metaphor for the hypermobile world we live in, where place and being in place is often cast as passé in favor of the idea of space as an unrestricted and open-ended landscape.
Next month: Talena Sanders (’13).
See you then.