Project Space: Katherine E. Bash

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      Preface to the Notes: While the texts maintain a strong correlation between the source and its destination within this work, unless otherwise noted, the lists have been edited to a greater or lesser degree. Images have been graphically elaborated by me that are not my original photographs.


      1. Desencana, A Vida Engana.
      This is a very popular and tricky Brazilian Portuguese phrase. Desencanar is a verb in Portuguese that means literally to get out of the pipe or tube, a word that was “totally created' from encanar, to put into the pipe. Desencana is the imperative form. In this sense, it would mean, take it easy. Enganar means something similar to: to trick, or to cheat, but not exactly either one. It is more subtle. The whole phrase could mean, take it easy, because life is a trick. Indeed the fact that this word was 'totally created' indicates the making of the phrase was a trope in that it performed the very thing about which it was speaking. If language is a set of cultural agreements, creating new language, in staying alert to the way life plays tricks, indeed, one must break out of the pipe to create new language and suggest new agreements. From a conversation with Eduardo Verderame via email, 14 April 2008.

      2 Georges Perec, Life, A User's Manual, trans. David Bellos (London: Vintage, 2003), Preamble.
      First published in 1978. “The novel—whose title is Life, A User's Manual—restricts itself (if I dare use that verb for a project that will finally extend to something like four hundred pages) to describing the rooms thus unveiled and the activities unfolding in them, the whole in accordance with formal procedures which it doesn't seem necessary to go into detail here, but the mere stating of which seems to me rather alluring: a polygraph of the moves made by a chess knight (adapted, what's more, to a board of 10 square by 10), a pseudoquenine of order 10, an orthogonal Latin bi-square of order 10 (the one that Eurler conjectured didn't exist, but which was demonstrated by Bose, Parker and Shrikhande).” Georges Perec, Species of spaces and other pieces / Uniform Title: Selections. English. 1997 (London, England ; New York, N.Y., USA : Penguin Books, 1997) 40.

      3.Titus Lucretius Carus, De Rerum Natura, 3rd ed, Loeb Classical Library (London: Hinemann, 1937), 135.
      The title means The Nature of the Things in This World, about which he intends to mean, everything and written in 50 B.C.E. Lucretius composed this work as a poem in six books, within which he undertakes to reveal the material nature of all things including change. This book has been loaned to me from the library of Nick Spearing, who has been very generous in our ongoing dialog about the nature of things in this world.

      4. Low tide at Seven Sisters in southern Britain at the base of eroding chalk cliffs, (Katherine E. Bash 2006).

      5. Robert Schwartz, “Events Are What We Make of Them,” in Understanding Events: From Perception to Action, Oxford Series in Visual Cognition (Oxford University Press, 2008), 55.
      In my ongoing project, A Field Guide To Observable Phenomena, with a current focus on the transitory or ephemeral, I raise questions such as: when does a moment or set of moments become a phenomenon that can be observed and named? This project is focused on detecting the edges of these phenomena and blurring them. It is really a strategy of pointing to things in the world, and then revealing that they are not really 'there' for we are complicit in making them.

      6 An arroyo in Cebolla Canyon, New Mexico while author participated within the framework of Land Arts of the American West, (Katherine E. Bash, October, 2003).

      7. Winfried Georg Sebald, Austerlitz, 1st (New York: Penguin Books, 2001), 360.
      I was introduced to Sebald (an obvious read living here in the UK) by Megan O’Connell and Leon Johnson in Portland Maine, an amazing couple introduced to me by David Abel at a distance, not far from the edge of the arroyo mentioned in note 24.

      8. Conjunto Habitacional Gávea, (Photograph: Katherine E. Bash, 2004).
      This building with an underpass is called, Conjunto Habitacional Gávea, built in 1952, project by the architect Affonso Eduardo Reidy. It is located in the Gávea neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Unfortunately the project was crippled with the opening in 1972 of the Tunnel connecting Gávea to Barra da Tijuca. Its popular nickname is Minhocão (mee-n-yo-cow) that means very big earthworm. This is not surprising as, in addition to its being an enormous complex, many large scale works (public and otherwise) are nicknamed Minhocão in Brasil. On Google Earth it can be located with the coordinates 22 58' 46" S - 43 13'49".
      From an email correspondence with Ricardo Lacerda from Rio de Janeiro, a conservation biologist who works in non-conservation areas.

      9. Parque Jardim Botânico, Rio De Janeiro, (Katherine E. Bash, 2005).

      10. William L. Fox, One Wave Standing (La Alameda Press, University of New Mexico, 1998) 27.

      11. Trouville-sur-mer, France with Catherine Dossin and her mother near their family home in Lisieux, (Katherine E. Bash, 2007).

      12. George Wither, “A collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne, Quickened witheh metricall illustrations, both Morall and divine: And Disposed into lotteries, that instruction, and good counsell, may bee furthered by an honest and pleasant recreation,” London, 1635. Page 4, Book I. Source of image:
      Due to my fortunate encounter with the couple mentioned in Note 7, I was co-incidentally introduced to Michael Witmore who introduced me to Emblem books. He described the nature of chance and the role of the emblem in a Talk Performance accompanied by harpsichordist, Pawel Siwczak, organized by the Itinerant Laboratory for Perceptual Inquiry and hosted by Goodenough College Port Talk series.

      13. Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes This World: How The Disruptive Imagination Creates Culture. (Canongate Books, 2008), 97.

      14. Barton Springs, Austin, Texas, Late-afternoon (Katherine E. Bash, Spring 2004).

      15. Barton Springs, Austin, Texas, Mid-afternoon, (Katherine E. Bash, Spring 2004).

      16. Lucretius Carus, De Rerum Natura, op.cit.,103.

      17. Hyde, Trickster Makes This World, op.cit., 127.

      18. Perec, Life, A User's Manual, op.cit., 82.

      19. Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, Brasil. Architect: Oscar Niemeyer, (Katherine E. Bash, 2005).

      20. Paul Shepheard, The cultivated wilderness, or, What is landscape? (Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts ; MIT Press, 1997), 5.

      21. Evaporation Ponds, Wendover, Utah, (Katherine E. Bash, 2006).
      Flying with Michael Light over the evaporation ponds in Wendover,Utah while in residence at the Center for Land Use Interpretation working toward an upcoming publication with William L. Fox and the Black Rock Press, Floating Point Operation. The site: Great Salt Lake Minerals Company, “One of the largest salt works on the Great Salt Lake with two major evaporation pond areas: 19,000 acres at Little Mountain, where this plant is located, and a 17,000 acre field of ponds 21 miles across the lake, near Lakeside. The brine from the Lakeside field flows in an open canal underneath the lake surface (the concentrated brine is heavier than the water above it and stays in the canal). The brine takes as much as 10 days to make the journey through the canal to this plant. 375 people work at two facilities here, extracting potassium sulfate (for fertilizers), sodium chloride (for industrial salt applications), sodium sulfate (used in laundry detergent and glass), and magnesium chloride.” From Archive ID. UT3171.

      22. Scott Huler, Defining the Wind: The Beaufort Scale, and How a Nineteenth Century Admiral Turned Science into Poetry, 1st ed (New York: Crown Publishers, 2004), 143.

      23. Bernard Lassus in Ian Hamilton Finlay, Selected Ponds (Reno; Nevada: West Coast Poetry Review, 1975).
      Lassus, a French landscape architect, presented the concept of a Minimal Intervention in his book, The Landscape Approach, 1998, by the University of Pennsylvania Press. This concept is derived from the idea of creating new landscapes without the use of bull-dozers or other large machines that move earth. This type of work could change ones interaction with and perception of a landscape, in fact creating a landscape, without significantly altering the site. It is purposeful to leave out an example.

      24. Videos: Part ^ (on the left) – Detectable air currents rising from an arroyo on a warm but cloudy afternoon in New Mexico at The Land, An Art Site. August 2007. Part * (on the right) – Autumn seed dispersal. Belfast, Northern Ireland. September 2007, (Katherine E. Bash).

      25. Tradurre Tradire. To Translate is To betray. This concept fits within the concept of hermeneutics. I say that to translate is to create. And where does the act of translation begin? In fact we are translating all the time, not only from language to language.
      The hermeneutical debate was raised again in the 19th century by Dielthey and Ranke and again in the 20th century Gadamer, following Heidegger, and most recently by Habermas. Gadamer discusses the act of translation at length and he says at the end of Truth and Method, 1960, that the effort of translation is to make a fusion of horizons. Each person has his or her own boundaries or limits of experience, edges of knowledge (that inevitably consists of pre-judices, or pre-judgements). In order to dialogue each tries to intersect ones horizons with the other. From a conversation with Giovanni Cogliandro.

      26. Wendover, Utah. Bonneville Salt Flats. April, snowstorm. (Katherine E. Bash, 2006). 1:36 pm.

      27. Wendover, Utah. Bonneville Salt Flats. April, snowstorm. (Katherine E. Bash, 2006). 12:45 pm.

      28. Giambattista Vico, The New Science of Giambattista Vico: Revised Translation of the Third Edition (1744), trans. Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968), Section 405.
      Strabo was a geographer in the early days of the Roman Empire and published a work, Geography, in which he created a verbal description of the world, or rather, the inhabited world. I link this here because it was one of a very early work of converting land in to language and establishing a relationship between the two. The act of bringing land into language is an act of enculturation, where, instead of an individual being taught and shaped by culture, in this case it is the land that is shaped by culture.

      29. Margaret Cavendish Newcastle, The Blazing World: And Other Writings, ed. Kate Lilley (London: Penguin, 1994), 123,124.
      Margaret Cavendish originally published the work, “The Description of a New World, called The Blazing World” and was “Written By the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and Excellent Princess, The Duchess of Newcastle,” in 1666 and is noted to be the first science fiction book written by a woman. It was written as a companion to another work, “Observations on Experimental Philosophy” published in 1668.

      30. Julio Cortázar, Cronopios and famas, trans. Paul Blackburn (New York: New Directions Pub. Corp., 1999); Julio Cortázar, Historias de Cronopios y de Famas (Punto de Lectura, 2004).
      The story is read in the English by the author (not to be confused with the Author, cited above) and with Daniel Abarca, who is from Mexico but also has an English accent. The recording is bi-aural (with one microphone placed in each ear of the listener, again, not to be confused with you, the listener). This portion of the project is made possible by an ongoing collaboration with Dr. Beau Lotto within the framework of the Cross-Disciplinary Training Scholarship scheme as a Ph.D student at the University College of London. Optimal listening is with headphones. April 2008.

      31. Positioning Taxonomies:
      This title comes from the proliferation of taxonomies during the period that this section covered. Taxonomies of life, Encyclopedias of all knowledge and efforts to create perfect philosophical languages are examples of some of these endeavors. Some of these endeavors involved efforts to pin down and classify all “things”, to position them, one relative to another and relative to all other existing knowledge (Leibniz, for example). This title pays homage to those efforts.

      32. Pocket Kite Flying, West Texas, (Katherine E. Bash, 2005).
      A pocket kite of the kind first observed in the pocket of a bag belonging to Michael Jones McKean in 2005 at the Glassell School of Art, Houston, Texas. In a related conversation, he told me about a project he was working on with rainbows and this had the effect of increasing my already growing appreciation for these phenomena. The springtime urban rainbows in London have been breathtaking (e.g. one of the brightest colored rainbows I have ever encountered with could be observed, just following a great downpour, partially between two buildings against the backdrop of the clouds and partially in the street, 10 meters away on the rain still coming down – observed with Deirdre O’Dwyer and Eu Jin Chua on 12 April 2008) and I can attribute my rainbow spotting (and sharing/guiding/indicating) habits in part to these conversations.

      33. Thomas Crump, A Brief History of Science: As Seen Through the Development of Scientific Instruments (London: Robinson, 2002), 297, 281.

      34. Original etching of the Earl of Rosse's Leviathan is housed in the Museum of the History of Science at Oxford, and reproduced in Crump, A Brief History of Science.

      35. Ibid., 281.

      36. Alan Q. Corp Morton, Science in the 18th century: the King George III collection (London : Science Museum, 1993).
      This comes from the trade card of George Adams (1704-1772) as he clearly delights in his extraordinary skill and high standing as he was in fact, instrument maker for the King. Note the list of materials.

      37. Ibid.
      An adapted list of items he advertised on his trade card. One item he did not describe of the most beautiful and is currently on display at the Science Museum in London. It is called the Philosophical Table. Natural Philosophy was a gentleman's pursuit before it became canonized as science. The instruments were made of fine materials so that one would be able to investigate and show off to friends and colleagues with style. This table contains a myriad of mechanics demonstrations common at the time. Pay particular attention to the way he qualifies his instruments with adjectives such as “curious.”

      38. Sebald, Austerlitz, op. cit., 363, 364.

      39. Huler, Defining the Wind, 128. Definition of Category: Excerpted from the Oxford English Dictionary Online (Entry 50034564, on 20 April 2008)
      “1. Logic and Metaph. A term (meaning literally ‘predication’ or ‘assertion’) given to certain general classes of terms, things, or notions; the use being very different with different authors. a. Originally used by Aristotle, the nature and meaning of whose ten categories, or predicaments (as, after the Latin translation, they are also called) has been disputed almost from his own day till the present; some holding that they were ‘a classification of all the manners in which assertions may be made of the subject’, others that they were ‘an enumeration of all things capable of being named, the most extensive classes into which things could be distributed’, or again, that they were ‘the different kinds of notions corresponding to the definite forms of existence’. Hence many criticisms of Aristotle's classification, with modifications of it, or the substitution of new ‘categories,’ proposed by the Stoics, and later philosophers, according as they viewed them logically or metaphysically. The ten ‘categories’ or ‘predicaments’ of Aristotle were: 1 Substance or being , 2 Quantity, 3 Quality, 4 Relation, 5 Place, 6 Time, 7 Posture , 8 Having or possession, 9 Action, 10 Passion.”

      40. Hyde, Trickster Makes This World, op. cit., 97.
      “It was Aristotle's Categories, according to the title of a recent book by Wolfgang-Rainer Mann, that initiated “the discovery of things”—that is, the idea that objects possess properties and can be arranged accordingly.[...] If the Categories feel like commonsense today, however, it is because the ideas put forth there have become so generally accepted as scarcely to seem like philosophy at all, though they were far from self-evident in their time. In a radical departure from Plato's doctrine of the Forms, Aristotle argued that the fundamental entities are ordinary things and their features.” Peter Schwenger, The tears of things : melancholy and physical objects (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 117. The book he quoted: Wolfgang-Rainer Mann, The Discovery of Things: Aristotle's Categories and Their Context (Princeton (N.J.): Princeton University Press, 2000).

      41. Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, Making of Europe (Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1997), 206.
      “The young Leibniz would criticize the absurdity of arrangements such as this in the Dissertatio de arte combinatoria, 1666,” pg. 207. Notice the co-incident date of the work of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle. “Taken to an extreme, whether deliberately or not, classification begins to betray its claims to a natural order based on the real. Felt initially to be an accurate reflection of the real, the system at its extreme reveals itself to be arbitrary, unreal.” Peter Schwenger, The Tears of Things: Melancholy and Physical Objects (Minneapolis, Minn: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), 119.

      42. Beaufort Wind Scale, Etymology: Sir Francis Beaufort, Original Date: 1858.
      The scale that is presented in this work is an intersection between two Merriam Webster editions: the one that is cited, and is the most recent and in addition, the version pre-1993 that is presented in Huler's Defining the Wind in the Appendix. A careful reading of the Beaufort Scale will reveal a series of dependent and often times, ephemeral sculptures, that is, sculptures that are dependent upon the wind to come into being. As the scale reaches the double digits, the sculptures that are created are on the whole, less ephemeral than those sculptures produces by lower-number Beaufort Scale winds. “Beaufort Scale - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary,”

      43. Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, op. cit., 207.
      This classification was written by Jorge Luis Borges and used in The Order of Things by Michel Foucault. Borges had been struck by the lack of any apparent order in the classification systems of the 17th century and created this system in response to such lack of order. Notice the category (h) included in the present classification. This subset includes all other subsets, including this one. This (category “h”) could be considered to be called a non-normal class, because the class is a member of itself.

      44. Mercalli Scale.
      This is the scale that focuses on the observed intensity of the earthquake. Notice that the lower numbers refer to observations that can be felt by people while the higher numbers refer to observations that can be made regarding structural damage.

      45. Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri (New York: Oxford University Press, 1961). Canto XXX, Paradiso, 61-69.
      This passage came from an email from Emily Gray, following a conversation regarding making, poetry and language and the ways that Dante created new words and concepts. This work is noted for being the first written piece of Italian, the spoken language, that came from Latin, the written counterpart. As such a work, he took room to play with the language he was writing down.

      46. Evening in Santa Caterina, Brasil on a Hotel Fazenda (Katherine E. Bash, October 2004).


      Alighieri, Dante. The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. New York: Oxford University Press, 1961.

      Cortázar, Julio. Cronopios and famas. Translated by Paul Blackburn. New York: New Directions Pub. Corp., 1999.

      Cortázar, Julio. Historias de Cronopios y de Famas. Punto de Lectura, 2004.

      Crump, Thomas. A Brief History of Science: As Seen Through the Development of Scientific Instruments. London: Robinson, 2002.

      Eco, Umberto. The Search for the Perfect Language. Making of Europe. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1997.

      Fox, William L. One Wave Standing. University of New Mexico Press, 1998.

      Huler, Scott. Defining the Wind: The Beaufort Scale, and How a Nineteenth Century Admiral Turned Science into Poetry. 1st ed. New York: Crown Publishers, 2004.

      Hyde, Lewis. Trickster Makes This World: How The Disruptive Imagination Creates Culture. Canongate Books, 2008.

      Lassus, Bernard in Ian Hamilton Finlay: Selected Ponds. Reno; Nevada: Westcoast Poetry Review, 1975.

      Lucretius Carus, Titus. De Rerum Natura. 3rd ed. Loeb Classical Library. London: Hinemann, 1937.

      Mann, Wolfgang-Rainer. The Discovery of Things: Aristotle's Categories and Their Context. Princeton (N.J.): Princeton University Press, 2000.

      Morton, Alan Q. Corp Author King George III Collection. Science in the 18th century : the King George III collection. London : Science Museum, 1993.

      Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish. The Blazing World: And Other Writings. Edited by Kate Lilley. London: Penguin, 1994.

      Perec, Georges. Life, A User's Manual: Fictions. Translated by David Bellos. London: Vintage, 2003.

      Perec, Georges. Species of spaces and other pieces / Uniform Title: Selections. English. 1997. London, England; New York, N.Y., USA : Penguin Books, 1997.

      Schwartz, Robert. “Events Are What We Make of Them.” In Understanding Events: From Perception to Action, 714. Oxford Series in Visual Cognition. Oxford University Press, 2008.

      Schwenger, Peter. The Tears of Things: Melancholy and Physical Objects. Minneapolis, Minn: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.

      Sebald, Winfried Georg. Austerlitz. 1st. New York: Penguin Books, 2001.

      Shepheard, Paul. The cultivated wilderness, or, What is landscape? Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts ; MIT Press, 1997.

      Vico, Giambattista. The New Science of Giambattista Vico: Revised Translation of the Third Edition (1744). Translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968.

      Online Resources:

      “Beaufort Scale - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.”

      “Mercalli Scale.”

      Wither, George. “A collection of Emblemes, Ancient and Moderne, Quickened witheh metricall illustrations, both Morall and divine: And Disposed into lotteries, that instruction, and good counsell, may bee furthered by an honest and pleasant recreation.” London, 1635. Source of image:


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