Thursday, December 9, 2010

The hermeneutics of the puerile

"Heidegger is recorded to have laughed only once, at a picnic with Ernst Jünger in the Harz Mountains. Jünger leaned over to pick up a sauerkraut and sausage roll, and his lederhosen split with a tremendous crack."*

On reading this, not for the first time it occurred to me that staying up late to watch Monty Python in the 1970s has entirely informed my worldview.

*From Paul Johnson’s Humorists: From Hogarth to Noël Coward, reviewed by Dwight Garner in the New York Times: a "warmly appealing if slightly dotty book" which I am very much looking forward to reading. The photograph above is an entirely unrelated picture of Heidegger and his brother on a path across a field that Heidegger used to walk on a lot, and that he wrote about, at length, after his "turn".

Monday, December 6, 2010

"Satiation is no longer a dream"

Calling all Art Lovers

"For the art hungry who are feeling the cold fingers of cultural starvation gnawing at their vitals, satiation is no longer a dream. Melissa Sharplin has popped up like the genie from the lamp to show the world her latest exhibition "Swit Swurl" held at Archibalds Audi showroom. Wrapped in a dress by Gillian Melhop, Melissa, looking gorgeous, almost competed with her own paintings."

from CC: See and Be Seen, issue 9, 3 December 2010, p.8.

More art writing like this, please. I shall get on to EyeContact about it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tossery at #twecon

Yesterday I took part in the inaugural Episto Tweet Conference on Twitter, organised by @HORansome (the admirable Matthew Dentith, academic philosopher of conspiracy theories and "one of New Zealand's top debunkers".)

Here is @HORansome giving his opening address (nice suit):

The rules were very strict. A paper in six tweets, one of which was to be the title, each of which must be numbered consecutively and contain the hashtag #twecon. The papers were delivered as delegates made themselves available throughout the day. There were some questions from the floor, but as @kittenypentland noted, thankfully no conference weirdies. (Regrettably, there were also no conference drinks.)

Here's a copy of my paper, which could very well be subtitled "Imma Tosser".

Many of the papers were very good. I particularly enjoyed @SarahLibrarina's exposition of hand-painted signs on Dunedin student flats (research for her forthcoming book), and @KittenyPentland's consideration of ethics on Twitter. (Matthew Dentith has full transcripts of all papers available on his blog.) The event itself was a great success, and will be repeated. It also indicated the possibilities inherent in new modes of academic communication, which Mike Dickison discusses briefly here.)

In  short: despite unspeakable tossery from me, #twecon was a good thing. Looking forward to the next one.