This text has been cited, edited, reprinted, cut and translated in many different contexts. Its earliest version took form as a talk at the conference called by the Southern Female Rights Union in 1970, later it has been written down and often published without permission. Out of respect for Jo’s intellectual property, I will not copy her text onto my blog but offer you a window to her website which I will use for something I would call reverse-referencing. Rather most than sometimes things we read do not have a connection to just one single line of thought. In fact, to see thought as a line or a linear structure can in fact already be problematic for some types of knowledge. Referencing and footnoting might for that reason be among my favourite types of (academic) output. The ways these texts flow through the written output are hardly visible but for the writer, let’s try that in reverse for this text.
I went back to Amsterdam this month (9.12—28-12), now I’m packing my bag and in it I put:
TEXT 78: Aetius 1.20.2 = Dox.Gr. p. 318 (271 U)
Epicurus [says that] void, place, and space differ [only] in name.
I stumbled on Epicurus’ writings (or rather those of his students) in one of these silly millennial ways. When looking for an image of a bust on Google images, I was lucky to be curious enough to read further.
It is not often that I find an ancient writing of which I think ‘I should really get into this’ (except for a weakness for Socrates). Usually, books that I get very enthusiastic about are not written and published earlier than 2010, or in some philosophical cases before 1980. But how to get into Epicurus’ writing through the available pocket publications specifically translated (curated) in order to indeed seem that fresh to me – mainly by putting his philosophy under a big umbrella of ‘how to find happiness in your contemporary life with ancient writing [read: ancient writing = very intelligent connotations]’. Which might even ironically be ‘influenced’ by Foucault’s work on subjectivity (or life as a work of art). Of course, I’m not of the philosophical type that is about getting the gist, a concise meaning reached through close examination of details in the writing and their relationship with the whole that can thereby be considered true, of a certain ‘original’ text. However, I’d like to be able to see the differences, gaps and incompatibility of such an original text with the experience of my time. That is where my philosophical friends often show a mixture of admiration and frustration when talking to me about my interpretations: they are only focused on a part and usually interested in where the text unintentionally rebels against itself by being preserved to this time. How do I solve this? I get the most boring, unaesthetic publishing of his writing, based on the table of contents and a little bit of intuition.
So as soon as I’ve read about friendship and common support structures, ataraxia – the peace and freedom from fear and early ideas of voids and particles that make up our material reality, I will come back with how that could all connect with contemporary curating of contemporary art.
coming up: Epicurating? – ‘curatorial rambling on friendship, support and falling’
From our reflection:
The ‘Word/Mouth body’ was formed for the event; this attracted curiosity and opened up the dialogue to interested wider audiences. The body consisted of the group, the artist and our methods of communication. The group communicated about our process and ideas through our network. The identity was also followed through on Instagram as a platform as our main social platform. The instagram functioned as a way to test and share ideas or references that did not have feature in the publication and as a way to visualise how these ideas were flowing between the members of the group.
The following needs more thinking: How can existing media be used in creating a single voice from a polyphonic construction.