How to be an Explorer of the World

Holiday reading led me to this book about researching.

Smith, K. “How to be an Explorer of the World – Portable Life Museum”, 2008, A Pedigree Book, The Penguin Group (USA) inc. 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10014, USA.


‘The Indo- European root of the word ‘Art’ is to ‘arrange’ or ‘fit together’ (join). In this light , art can be paired down to it’s most simplistic form. We begin by collecting.’ Smith, p. 15

Ways of Seeing

Sight , sound, smell, touch, taste, movement, shape, texture, function, symbol, language, subjectively, objectively, in comparison, contrast, negative space, symmetrically, colour, in parts, anecdotally, historically, artistically, scientifically, morally, diachronically (across time), syn-chronically (one point in time), metaphysically, contextually, culturally, politically, ritualistically, aesthetically, micro, macro,  in multiple, alone, 2D, 3D, abstractedly, mythically, directionally, linearly, as a habit, as a device, lightheartedly, as a sign.

‘The aspects of things that are most important for us are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity. (one is unable to notice something- because it is always before one’s eyes.)- Ludwig Wittgenstein in Smith p.29

‘Document colours from favourite books, dreams, memories’ Smith, p.43. NOTE take colours from the environment, agriculture, city, mining and create colour maps

‘before familiarity can turn into awareness the familiar must be stripped of it’s inconspicuousness; we must give up assuming that the object in question needs no explanation. However frequently recurrent, modest, vulgar it may be it will now be labels as something unusual.’ Bertold Brecht in Smith, p. 53.

Combining and Contrasting

Combine groups of objects for visual or emotional contrast.

Take two different objects and try to create as many connections between them as you can. NB Fod Vs Fuel. Write about what it is like to combine 2 different activities such as eating and reading – NB Eating and learning Smith p. 77.


‘Study and document shapes made by water. Find as many as you can. Research shapes made by water. Come up with new ones. ‘Smith. p.79. NB Water is a very important in the fracking debate. Morph this into the project?

‘Collect materials based on textures and invite people to close their eyes and guess what different materials are. Create a tactile map of a place using textures to represent the different areas of qualities. Create reliefs using a non drying clay.’ Smith p. 87 NB Use clay to create maps and pit fire them at home?

‘Experiment with arrangements that the viewer can physically interact with.’ Smith p.95 NB learning and exploring within an exhibition

People Mapping ‘ Visit a local park or public area. Create a colour coded map of the position of the otehr people in relation to you.’ Smith, p.73

NEW Energy

‘The closer man gets to the unknown the more inventive he becomes- the quicker he adopts new ways.’- Buckminster Fuller in Smith p. 148

To enter into the unknown (to partake in an experiment) involves a willingness to fly experience and study things we don’t understand, and to embrace that lack of understanding.’ Smith p.148


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