The minotaur watches the tsunami wave approach the west shore.

Rippling. Water ripples. Accordion ripples. Sonic ripples, left to right. 

To read in smaller waves. 

Byung-Chul Han’s 
The Scent of Time: 
A philosophical Essay 
on the Art of Lingering 
(2009/English 2017/21, translated by Daniel Steuer. Polity Press, Cambridge) makes ocean puddles that (naturally) radiate out in circular patterns; 

Susan Stewart’s 
On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection 
(1993, Duke University Press, Durham and London) sends choppy waves against corralled rock; 

and Gaston Bachelard’s 
Poetics of Space 
(1964/2014, translated by Maria Jolas. Penguin Books, New York) is warm water on Cuban shores; 

“… Knowledge is as time-intensive as experience. It derives its force from the past as well as from the future. Only through this linking up of temporal horizons does familiarity condense into knowledge. This temporal condensation also distinguishes knowledge from information, which is empty of time, so to speak – time-less in the sense of being deprived of time. Because of this temporal neutrality, information can be stored and arbitrarily retrieved. If things are deprived of memory, they become information or commodities. They are pushed into a time-free, ahistorical space. The storage of information is preceded by the deletion of memory, the deletion of historical time. Where time decays into a mere sequence of point-like presences, it also loses any dialectical tension. Dialectics is in itself an intensive temporal process. Dialectical movement depends on a complex linking up of temporal horizons, i.e. on a not-yet of the already. What is implicitly present in a particular presence, pulls that presence out of itself and sets it in motion. The motive power of dialectics results from the temporal tension between an already and a not-yet, between a ‘having been’ and a future…. (Han, p.6)

“Here is a landscape of apprehension: close to nature, and not consumed by her; close to culture, close enough to consume her. In the topography of the suburbs is revealed the topography of the family, the development, a network of social relations and their articulated absences. To walk in the suburbs is to announce a crippling, a renunciation of speed. In the suburbs only outsiders walk, while the houses are illuminated as stages, scenes of an uncertain action. In these overapparent arrangements of interior space, confusion and distance mark the light.” (from Stewart’s Prologue, p. 1)

“ … outside the occupied house, the winter cosmos is a simplified cosmos. It is a non-house in the same way that metaphysicians speak of a non-I, and between the house and the non-house it is easy to establish all sorts of contradictions. Inside the house, everything may be differentiated and multiplied. The house derives reserves and refinements of intimacy from winter; while in the outside world, snow covers all tracks, blurs the road, muffles every sound, conceals all colors. As a result of this universal whiteness, we feel a form of cosmic negation in action. The dreamer of houses knows and senses this, and because of the diminished entity of the outside world, experiences all the qualities of intimacy with increased intensity. (Bachelard, p.61)

The museum is a non-house. It encapsulates winter: “As a result of this universal whiteness, we feel a form of cosmic negation in action.”

The museum is (not in) the suburbs. It offers a false sense of security: “To walk in the suburbs is to announce a crippling, a renunciation of speed.”

The museum is knowledge: “It derives its force from the past as well as from the future.”

The museum is a place. It has an architecture, distinct in each its representation. It has a use articulated by every iterative community. It has a definition however settling and unsettling that makes no reference to the space it occupies apart from being “open” to the public:

“A museum is a not-for-profit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing.”
New definition announced by International Association of Museums, August 24, 2022

But what does it really feel like to visit an “open” museum? How does it feel to be in a museum that is “locking” in pasts and futures; a house and a non-house evoking some little understandings of the artefacts and their narrative experiences. (Indeed, the museum is a place to learn, and there are various learning styles and motivations that we bring to the museum (Falk, J. H. (2010). An Identity-Centered Approach to Understanding Museum Learning, In Curator The Museum Journal, 49(2): 151-166). )

It is less the idea of learning that interests me than the idea that a non-house can be a blanket of snow, or a summer’s rippling (heat, waters), that negates all pre-knowing in order to spark a new reading, and better still, a reading anew. Housing/holding many of the intangible things too – joy, wonder, curiosity – that underpin our sense of fulfilment. This fulfillment is shared, like a punchline that brings about laughter more robustly in the company of others.    

Our sense of community is about feeling like you are in on the joke, or let in on the story (shelter, food, family), whether pictogram or abstract or conceptual, digital and artificial. This list here suggests some linear sequence of art things, which bring me back to the concept of time as a linear episodic need that is nonetheless articulate and present in fragmentation, repetition, labyrinthine, circuitous ways. And so I am joyously exploring them in the writing of this blog that imbeds referents outside, inside, back and forward. 
 (Or, is this a self-indulgent vitriolic marathon of both “flight and fight,” vested in the sheepish clothes of a mentor… or, minotaur?)

I return to this pool that is no longer its’ dark predecessor. It is watered with fall’s cold rains, the falling leaves that float gingerly across the panorama. The pool has no attic or basement, or sheltering walls, but it is nonetheless familiar, captivating to me. And yet winter warns: imprinted on it (the pool in winter, spring, summer, fall) is the museum’s softened colonnade, its' rippling. The open museum.

glitch26, nov 19, 2021

text, sept 5, 2022