Monday, December 05, 2005

Sorting

This weekend, I spent a good deal of time sorting through bits of paper (some bound up as books, others in thick piles with interminable scribblings on them.) It struck me that I spend most of my time these days categorising information. There is a great deal of anxiety involved in determining categories and even more in finding places to abandon the bits that don't neatly fit in one or other. It brings to mind the passage from Jorge Luis Borges that Michel Foucault refers to in the Preface to "The Order of Things."

"These ambiguities, redundancies and deficiencies remind us of those which Dr.
Franz Kuhn attributes to a certain Chinese encyclopaedia entitled The Celestial
Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. In its remote pages it is written that the
animals are divided into:

a. belonging to the Emperor
b. embalmed
c. trained
d. pigs
e. sirens
f. fabulous
g. stray dogs
h. included in this classification
i. trembling like crazy
j. innumerable
k. drawn with a very fine camelhair brush
l. et cetera
m. just broke the vase
n. from a distance look like flies"


http://www.crockford.com/wrrrld/wilkins.html

No conclusions, just a sense of impending overload.

2 comments:

MK said...

I spent a lot of time categorizing my del.icio.us clouds. Now I hear del.icio.us has just been acquired by Yahoo. (exclamation mark eliminated on purpose). Sigh. Maybe all that work was for nought, since I despair that Yahoo will screw up one of my fave web tools. "Click here to skip this ad".... and such.

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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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