28 February 2007


I went along to a Gordon Crook opening at the Mary Newton Gallery yesterday. I wanted to see it because I'm really into symbol systems at the moment. It was also not your run of the mill opening. Wandering around the work with a cup of tea rather than a glass of wine was very pleasantly novel.

The way people seem compelled to come up with systems is really fascinating. It has to do with way our brains work. We take this continuous world, break it up into discrete chunks, and categorise those chunks. This has an obvious evolutionary advantage, not to mention such side benefits as enabling language. The problem comes when we assume that the way we construct the world is the only way the world could be. Looking at everything only in terms of a particular system also means you ignore some things and distort others.

There was a superbly ironic prime example of this in today's paper. The spokesperson for the NZ catholic church, commenting on the recent claimed find of the remains of Jesus, his wife Mary, and son Judah, said: 'To suggest they've found the remains defies belief.'

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