Saturday, 15 July 2017

Moving forward with the book, but still rather behind!

Having spent the last week up in Northumberland at our new cottage, the good intentions of trying to use this week as a focussed production time have all but evaporated!  I've got a fair bit done, but the intention of using yesterday to print off a finished copy of the book at the University came and escaped me as I'm still writing and adding to the content, rather than condensing it and cutting it down to more concentrated, distilled outcome.

Nevertheless, the format is pretty much fixed now, using InDesign has been a great help, and together with the great help from Dr MacDonald earlier in the week, following our one to one last Friday, I've taken her advice and notes and tried to conform to her recommendations, especially in the style of voice for writing 'in the voice of the Peregrine'.  I need to put some thought into how I can rearticulate the ideas of kinship of the Peregrine, - I agree with Juliet that 'Brothers & Sisters, Mothers and Fathers' type language is far too anthropomorphic and human centric.  It almost sounds like a Marxist or Unionist angle of the committee of Peregrines! - So these sections can be re-worded much better I think using a kin-ship approach.

I also like the idea of reading the essay "What is it like to be a bat" by Thomas Nagel.  Thankfully, that is an essay that appears in the recent acquisition I made of "Animals: Documents of Contemporary Art", by Whitechapel Gallery and MIT press.  IT also has an extract of John Berger's "Why Look at Animals" there too, together with Donna Haraway's "Companion Species Manifesto"... So this was a great buy and brilliant source of texts.

And finally, the recommendation Juliet made to seek out the essay, by Jakob von Uexküll: A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men: A Picture Book of Invisible Worlds, where he explores a concept of Umwelt, (or in-around-world... I remember 'um und um' means 'around and about' or some-such like, because I thinks it's one of those words that has multiple meanings depending on contexts (like, 'for' and 'too'), if I recall the German translation correctly), - anyway, this essay seems very promising.

Conclusions;

  • Still lots to do! - I'm a bit behind with the intention of printing the book out on Friday this week, and so this will now likely be done on Tuesday ready for submission on Wednesday 19th July. 
  • I'm eating into my contingency a bit here, but arguably that's what it is built in for! - However, the distractions of last week and also having to take care of social engagements this weekend continues to put pressure on me that I could have avoided. 
  • Whenever I plan workloads in advance, I often make the mistake of making my plans fit in with actual 'work-load' only, and I don't build in enough contingency for personal and family commitments right into my plan.  I wish I had done this here too, as this last week has been frantic in many ways, and we're out for the rest of this weekend too now, so more work will back up. - Ah well!
  • I need to find a copy of Jakob von Uexkooll's essay that Juliet recommended.  It may be a little too late to influence my submission next Wednesday, only three days away effectively, but it will be worthwhile reading it before the presentation on 28th or certainly during the wrapping up in August, so there's still plenty of time to look at it I think. 

References;

Ramos, Filipa. (2016), Animals: Documents of Contemporary Art, by  Whitechapel Gallery & MIT Press, London & Massachusetts.
Jakob von Uexküll: A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men: A Picture Book of Invisible Worlds.

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