David Abbott

Three Hundred Thousand Souls

A couple of nice paragraphs on the plurality of place in Three Hundred Thousand Souls by Joe Vaughan and Joe Summers, a document of a sound performance by the two artists:

  • The Aztec Definitions are a collection of poems assembled to define the nature of certain objects, animals and places... The definitions demonstrate an understanding that there is an intrinsic plurality to our experience of place. One does not only feel scared in a cave. They may also feel happy. We are accustomed to having our descriptions of place filtered through the temporal experience of the writer, whereas any attempt to effectively describe a place in its totality must engage with said place's existence outside of the window of time one is in when experiencing it.
  • This process of defining a place by stressing its plurality suggests that one must first understand the subjectivity of one's experience of a place, in order to know it's nature. The poems place the author within the definition, relating the nature of place to the experience of those who are to experience it...The poetry suggests that in order to convey anything close to the objective nature of a place, the author must locate themselves within the experience of perceiving said place and present themselves as an inescapable component of its perceived nature. The placement of oneself in ones understanding of a place infers not only that everyone who visits will receive a subjective experience, but that the place itself exists only as a subjective experience. Knowledge of the self is required to gain knowledge of place.

July 6, 2022

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