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Third View: triptyches of history - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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July 24th, 2007


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01:38 am - Third View: triptyches of history
Yesterday, I went with Aaron and Daire to a street fair celebrating the re-opening of the Museum of Contemporary Craft downtown. It wasn't all that interesting, but the fair was located very near a small photographic gallery (whose name I have totally forgotten, but it's on NW 8th, relatively near the museum), that had an exhibit of photographs drawn from this absolutely amazing project. I am uncertain why this touched me so deeply. I'm not particularly interested in the American West, but the series of photographs from the late 1860s & 1870s, followed by ones taken slightly more than a century later, and a third set taken recently was utterly amazing. I love history, and this was history vividly displayed in three simple black & white images. Plants growing, water advancing or receding, building suddenly there or previously existing buildings now vanished without a trace.

I both love the quality of the photographs, especially some of the lovely Timothy O'Sullivan photographs he took in the 1870s for the USGS. But most of all I love the visual sense of time and history. This more than anything else brought home to me what Charles Stross' comment about us standing at the true beginning of history really means. As soon as one of the various large checks I'm expecting come in, I'm definitely getting the book.
Current Mood: enthralledenthralled

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Comments:


[User Picture]
From:used_songs
Date:July 24th, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC)
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You always make such thought-provoking posts. I like how this one is about the past and about the future. The Stross/BBC article makes me wonder what history will really be like in the future. So much of history now is conjecture and interpretation. I think there will still be a lot of that, but the body of material will be so much broader and more complex. We'll be able to know the lives of ordinary people from the past (aka. now or the near future) in a way that we don't now. And I'm thinking of those old photos of the west. I have a collection of old photos of people and I always wonder what those people were like, what their dreams and desires were, what they did --- we may soon be able to know those things when we start looking back at ourselves. One thing's for sure, history will no longer be something that can be contained neatly within the pages of a high school history book!

I hope the singualarity does arrive in my lifetime so that I can have the experience (among an inifinite many) of looking back from a radically different perspective.
[User Picture]
From:moominmuppet
Date:July 24th, 2007 12:51 pm (UTC)
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Hey, happy little note for Aaron -- not only do they have his book in my local library, I'm apparently third on the request list to read it.

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