Year 1 / no more counting days (10.1.2020)

The moon, stars and constellations

Image result for asteroids

Picture: Asteroid (source Wiki)

One of my great-uncles was an astronomer in Hamburg with name Wilhelm Dieckvoss. Asteroid (1706) Dieckvoss was named after him. This has nothing to do with my PhD.

But working an a journal article on private museums, I am late with, I have been reading Claire Bishop’s Radical museology. On page 56 she writes:

“An apt term to describe the result of these activities is the constellation, a work used by Walter Benjamin to describe a Marxist project of bringing events together in new ways, disrupting established taxonomies, disciplines, mediums and proprieties.” (56)

He wrote about it in the Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels und im Arkadenprojekt. I hadn’t hear about this (my bad).

The Oxford Quick reference website states:

“That is to say, ideas are no more present in the world than constellations actually exist in the heavens, but like constellations they enable us to perceive relations between objects. It also means ideas are not the same as concepts, nor can they be construed as the laws of concepts. Ideas do not give rise to knowledge about phenomena and phenomena cannot be used to measure their validity. This is not to say the constellation is purely subjective or all in our heads. The stars in the night sky are where they are regardless of how we look at them and there is something in how they are positioned above us that suggests the image we construct of them. But having said that, the names we use for constellations are embedded in history, tradition and myth. So the constellation is simultaneously subjective and objective in nature. It is not, however, a system, and this is its true significance for Benjamin, who rejects the notion that philosophy can be thought of as systemic, as though it were mathematical or scientific instead of discursive…. The notion of constellation allows for a depiction of the relation between ideas that gives individual ideas their autonomy but does not thereby plunge them into a state of isolated anomie. (

This is interesting. I wonder if this helps me to get unstuck. I am stuck in methodologies, chronologies, reading versus thinking versus writing and being distracted with lots of other projects. I am also stuck in dichotomies and oppositions. This seems to be a possibility.

Like Luna. Our new puppy. She is also a new possibility to live life differently.




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