It’s been really interesting going through an old book like this and systematically posting everything I can. I have more, so after a short break I’ll begin again on Myrtle.
“For over 150 years scientists have tried to solve the mystery of a controversial cuneiform clay tablet that indicates the so-called Köfel’s impact event was observed in ancient times. The circular stone-cast tablet was recovered from the 650 BC underground library of King Ashurbanipal in Nineveh, Iraq in the late 19th century. Long thought to be an Assyrian tablet, computer analysis has matched it with the sky above Mesopotamia in 3300 BC and proves it to be of much more ancient Sumerian origin. The tablet is an “Astrolabe,” the earliest known astronomical instrument. It consists of a segmented, disk-shaped star chart with marked units of angle measure inscribed upon the rim.”
“For these seafaring people, geographic knowledge was something remembered and shared through stories and conversations of travels and hunting. “The drawing of charts and maps,” Holm wrote, “was of course quite unknown to the people of [Ammassalik], but I have often seen how clever they were as soon as they grasped the idea of our charts. A native from Sermelik, called Angmagainak, who had never had a pencil in his hand and had only once visited the East coast, drew a fine chart for me covering the whole distance from Tingmiarniut to Sermiligak, about 280 miles.” They also provided him with incredibly detailed descriptions of terrain, flora and fauna, and, in some cases, local weather patterns and lunar and solar cycles. To pass some of this knowledge on to the curious, acquisitive Holm, one hunter presented him with a set of unusual maps that have been, by turns, overlooked, discounted, misunderstood, and, eventually, admired.”
“But woodcarving was a common activity among the Tunumiit and Holm mentions that carving maps was not out of the ordinary. The Inuit people have used carvings in a certain way—to accompany stories and illustrate important information about people, places, and things. A wooden relief map, would have functioned as a storytelling device, like a drawing in the sand or snow, that could be discarded after the story was told. As geographer Robert Rundstum has noted, in Inuit tradition, the act of making a map was frequently much more important than the finished map itself. The real map always exists in one’s head. Though the maps themselves are unique, the sentiments and view of the world they represent were universal to the culture that made them.”
…Much more including annotated manipulatable 3-d models on this great post from Atlas Obscura.
reblogging Ben Katchor:
“A Novel and Original Invention, by which 46,656 words or sentences can be represented with six colors, intended as A Medium of Communication between all Nations, and Applicable to any Language; also adapted to sound and night signals, by which communications may be made at all-seasons, without regard to weather.”
Currently working on a research project related to Canadian and Greenland Inuit with R0gMedia in Berlin. The diagram above is a genealogical diagram made in the mid 1950s by anthropologist Jean Malaurie, the first of its kind. It’s a hand made radial drawing, Malaurie has a whole series of them in his apartment in Paris, along with his extensive personal archive of research materials including photos, films, notebooks, drawings. While the broader aims of the project are to find an institution willing to host the collection, I’m trying to make an digital artefact out of this diagram that could bring the information alive and demonstrate how historical anthropological materials can be made relevant and contextualised for present and future generations. DIS2012 published a paper on this project for a workshop about slow technology. Slow technology DIS2012
“The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries. There is an allure to enumerating how many women Don Giovanni slept with: It was 2,063, at least according to Mozart’s librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte. We also have completely practical lists — the shopping list, the will, the menu — that are also cultural achievements in their own right.”
Beginning a large project of uploading old notebook pages. These are not high res scans as that would considerably increase the amount of time needed, so these would have to do for now.
These are all generally going up on Instagram first.