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Fionnáin

fionnain@bookwyrm.social

Joined 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I arrange things together into art, including paint, wood, plastic, raspberry pi, people, words, dialogues, arduino, sensors, web tech, light and code.

I use things other people have written to help guide these projects, so I read as often as I can. Most of what I read is literature (fiction) or nonfiction on philosophy, art theory, ethics and technology.

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Seven Steeples (Hardcover, Tramp Press) No rating

Never Really Begins

2 stars

As a fan of Sara Baume, I was looking forward to this book. In the end, I'm a little disappointed. The writing and imagination captures moments brilliantly, as always, but the book's story is not engaging and it stutters to a stop without ever really getting started. It surrounds a couple and their two dogs as they form a life in the countryside after years of city living. They are watched over by the mountain, one of several active characters in the landscape.

Despite some good moments, Seven Steeples feels a little more like a study for two actors building character for a play than a work of literature, even an experimental one. And there is also an inexplicable use of spacing at times

that seems designed to do something with beat but never seems to make sense when it's used. The overall result is a little too self-aware, with …

ENTWINED (Paperback, Art Editions North) No rating

'ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives. Art.' Was a multi-partner project, organised by VARC (Visual Arts st …

Entangled voices

No rating

I feel a little strange writing a review for a book that my work is also published in, and where I know many of the authors, so I will just write a few thoughts. This compendium of entwined essays about art in the rural landscape is brilliantly put together, with sharp images accompanying thoughts by artists, academics and writers about the 4-year project ENTWINED. Writing includes essays about the idea of the 'rural' in Japanese and English art, how colonialism influences rural art, what birds can teach us about walking and the folly of borders. I am biased, but I tried to read this just for the joy of reading and through that I really enjoyed the writing and ideas, and the artworks that are printed as part of the entwined story.

ENTWINED (Paperback, Art Editions North) No rating

'ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives. Art.' Was a multi-partner project, organised by VARC (Visual Arts st …

Part of our 'problem' with the rural is that rural places are rarely defined on their own terms, but negatively as what is left outside urban and metropolitan spaces. As a result agriculture tends to be over-emphasised in our understanding of the rural cosmos, even though we know that in England, for example, the majority of people in rural areas work in the service sector, and urban and rural economies are broadly similar.

ENTWINED by 

From the essay Visual Arts in the Global Countryside by Menelaos Gkartzios

ENTWINED (Paperback, Art Editions North) No rating

'ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives. Art.' Was a multi-partner project, organised by VARC (Visual Arts st …

The pandemic, a result of a mode of living that sees other life simply as a resource or as a form of threat, calls for a new ethic of relations, in which patience is also required from us. Allowing other things to survive on their own terms requires the patience of renewed attentiveness.

ENTWINED by 

From the essay MER-IS-LAND-IS-SEA: A Collective Approach to Place by Susan Trangmar

The Dawn of Everything (Hardcover, 2021, Signal) No rating

For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike--either free and equal …

It matters what thoughts think

4 stars

A tale of two David's: Graeber's final book, co-authored with Wengrow, is an epic volume of archaeology and anthropology that decentres and challenges accepted patterns of western thought that many social scientists present as facts. In particular, the authors take aim at books like Sapiens by showing how they proliferate accepted but unproven myths about human behaviour without following the evidence. As a book of critique and challenge, it is funny, thoughtful, and sharp. Some of the ideas, such as that the European idea of democracy may have originated from colonised Native American cultures, are radical but well argued.

Despite this, there are some flaws. A couple of chapters run far too long with too much repetition, and the scope of societies that are used to construct the arguments is limited. Also, there is a repeated insistence of humanist thought, dismissing animal or nonhuman relationships as unrelated to the story. …

The Dawn of Everything (Hardcover, 2021, Signal) No rating

For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike--either free and equal …

In academic circles, an odd disjuncture has developed around the use of such schemes. Most cultural anthropologists view this kind of evolutionary thinking as a sort of quaint relic from their discipline's past, which no one today could possibly take seriously; while most archaeologists only employ terms like 'tribe', 'chiefdom' or 'state' for lack of an alternative terminology. Yet almost anyone else will treat such schemes as the self-evident basis for all further discussion. Throughout this book, we have spent a good deal of time demonstrating how deceptive all this is. The reason why these ways of thinking remain in place, no matter how many times people point out their incoherence, is precisely because we find it so difficult to imagine history that isn't teleological – that is, to organise history in a way which does not imply that current arrangements are somehow inevitable.

The Dawn of Everything by ,

A good paragraph to summarise why this book exists.

Thin Places (2022, Canongate Books) No rating

Kerri ní Dochartaigh was born in Derry at the very height of the Troubles. One …

The border that Earhart had flown across at least once before she crash-landed in a field in Derry-Doire-Londonderry was utterly invisible...That border – the one that has been being [sic.] debated [~~] and contested for the entirety of the Brexit debate of the last years – the one that lives have been lost over, is a thing Amelia Earhart could never have held in her explorer hands. No matter how hard any of us may try to grasp at it – to define its outline and draw its skeleton, to mark its place on the land's skin like a shadow stitched on with rope – it slips away from us like the first butterfly of the summer, too otherworldly to feel real and not dissimilar, I realise now, to any thin place on earth.

Thin Places by 

~~ moves to p79

started reading ENTWINED by VARC

ENTWINED (Paperback, Art Editions North) No rating

'ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives. Art.' Was a multi-partner project, organised by VARC (Visual Arts st …

I was an artist on this project. Just starting to read my copy of the book. There ar over 30 authors and artists (including me) and I really like many of their works.