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Nightscapes: On Wandering, Deviancy and Creativity

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

10/02/2018

Unfinished Systems of Non—Knowledge PART 2: On Wandering explores the potential of wandering as an alternative way of knowing and being in the world. Whereas conventional Western knowledge systems tend to follow a linear model often structured around predetermined trajectories, wandering allows us to deviate from the beaten path and ‘to abandon the straight line of the disciplinary regime’. It is in this potential that wandering becomes a powerful strategy, counteracting the straight line of knowledge systems and other conventional models that direct us how to act, think or be. Wanderlust refers to a curiosity-driven mind-set, the longing to discover uncharted terrain without a settled plan or fixed objective. Guided by chance, the figure of the Wanderer embraces whatever he or she comes across. It is in this sense that art and literature both adopted the figure of the Wanderer as the personification of the romantic; free spirited, the unbound vagabond. However, there is a dark and dystopian side to the figure of the Wanderer as well. The Wanderer who is not only geographically lost, but also mentally disoriented; lost in his or her own mind, his or her own way of thinking, his or her own logic. Unfinished Systems of Non—Knowledge PART 2: On Wandering is particularly interested in the subversive and political potential of wandering as an alternative knowledge system. It could be argued that wandering as a mode of knowledge production generates a series of distinct knowledge-montages in which ideas, objects, persons and situations derived from different contexts are being combined, cutting across the established boundaries between disciplines, historical periods and geographical contexts. This methodological freedom is a widely accepted (research) practice amongst visual artists and other cultural practitioners, even among so-called fundamental scientists. It is the cornerstone of our imagination. However it is still frowned upon as a legitimate mode of research as it does not adhere to science’s principles of objectivity and reproducibility. What does wandering yield with regards to conventional modes of knowledge production, and what do we lose? In addition to its poetic and artistic potential, in what situations does wandering become a political act? And what happens when the Wanderer gets caught up in the idiosyncrasies of his or her own mind, lost and disconnected from the real world?

Electronic data

Symposium

TitleUnfinished Systems of Non-Knowledge
Date8/02/1810/02/18
Website
LocationDe Waag
CityAmsterdam
CountryNetherlands
Degree of recognitionInternational event