05 / 23 / 2014


Dear Naya,

A rose of the winds is a mapping system, a code, a measure, and it is a circle.

What do you imagine history looks like? Some people say a vertical line, and in my head this line of history rises out of a mist and is marked with bands recording both the turns of the centuries and the significant events between them at irregular gaps, like a faulty ruler. Our framework for the ‘Rose of the Winds’ project is an artistic investigation of the hundred years since 1914 and the shooting of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie in Sarajevo, which began as a faint scratch and soon deepened into a bold stripe on the historical measure.

A lot of the twentieth century does not make sense as a line, though. It loops back on itself, falls to the floor like a tangle of thread, to be ordered and wound later onto spindles so that the years wrap around each other and refuse to form the neat linear narratives we prefer in our histories. These cyclical, circular narratives are notoriously the domain of women, maybe the result of years of painstaking manual spinning work by candlelight, dark hours made tolerable by folk tales of past golden ages, where fact and fiction never tried to be separate entities, yet whose version of history still remained true to the ordinary people who lived it.

How can our blog reflect this exploration? The Rose of the Winds blog should not be a linear chronicle of events, a straight documentation of our project, or an ordered succession of entries. In consonance with our approach is an evolution of the Victorian commonplace book, something hodgepodge like a zibaldone: an album of ideas, found objects, commentaries, fiction, images, dialogue, interviews, curiosities, some taken from the Internet but many from encounters in everyday life. An experimental blog where the entries are designed to radiate in a cyclical, circular way, and where the blog platform will itself act as the surface of our artistic research.

Image via http://littletoboggans.tumblr.com

Image via http://littletoboggans.tumblr.com



Dear Kate,

For me history more than circular is a braid, a surface that entangles and forms a meta-structure that could be round, but also has some loose ends. I believe in a sort of micelles or a rhizome. More a post-structuralism diagram as Deleuze and Guattari would think. Strangely history has always been written by strong hands, by power and political interests, but I do believe in small stories, those that overlap silently and run parallel to that historiographical vector that seem to be popular. The real timeline is composed by simultaneous events, big and small, logical and illogical, and they conform a compound, a very multilayered ground that bends on itself.




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