Vulgar Errors residency in progress
At the moment there are two things that I am starting to think about that possibly relate to Browne, or for which his work might bring an interesting perspective.
1) I might compare how Browne thought of people with how we think of people today (job units). I am initially struck by Browne’s sense of people as inherently infirm and, characteristic of the time he was writing, that this is derived from a relationship to God. As I read more I am interested to see the relationship between religion and reason in his work. Does his reasoning support or complicate a religious view of the world? Today is an economic view is presented as the logical, reasoned view? I am also struck by how, in the first couple of chapters, Browne highlights and discredits some errors through looking at the language of scripture. I wonder whether exploring how he close-reads language will help me with how I use the articles I am collecting.
2) I have been thinking about my process of artistic research and how, if it was measured by the criteria of scientific or social scientific research, it would be bad research. I am being fairly arbitrary in choosing to read newspapers between now and May, simply because that’s the time I have available. I am also mostly reading the newspapers that are available in my local library and sometimes I miss a day or just miss a relevant article because I don’t notice it. Besides, I am deciding what is a relevant article as I go along!
The techniques that I imagine that I might use in my work of quoting or editing bits of text from newspaper articles and bits of text from Browne and juxtaposing them in different ways, will suffer the problems of erroneous suggestion and inaccuracy that I would be critical of in newspaper reporting. But I will be using them in a poetic or metaphorical way, rather than the ‘factual’ way newspapers do. So I don’t know where it’s heading but I guess I am interested in exploring the difference between things that may be taken as fact or used as metaphor.
Last week Hugh also sent me a copy of a book he wrote with Simon Briscoe called Panicology, so I have been reading this. I was interested in the intro to ‘Panicology’ how they write that “Numbers are the ‘fact’ generator in today’s society.” There are sections in the book on ‘The Workplace’ (No Work or Low Pay) and ‘Migrant Invasion’ which are relevant to my theme.