Sunday, 27 October 2013

beads < - >shells< - > stones

beads<  -  >shells< - > stones

Gifford states that such small pieces of calcite or aragonite could not definitely be classed as "money stone." They may actually be shell, he says, as the formation of calcite and aragonite occur in both inorganic and organic forms.

Mmbul, Gaw, Fe' or Rai, Yar, and Reng

Two Chiefs of Yap Island Western Caroline Islands
with three perforated stones

Rai, or stone money, are large, circular stone disks carved out of limestone formed from aragonite and calcite crystals. Rai stones were mined in Palau and transported for use to the island of Yap. They have been used in trade by the locals and are described by some observers as a form of currency.
There are five major types of rai stone monies:Mmbul, Gaw, Fe' or Rai, Yar, and Reng.
The considered value of a specific stone is based on its size and craftsmanship and also on the history of the stone. If many people—or no one at all—died when the specific stone was transported, or a famous sailor brought it in, the value of the rai stone increases. Rai stones were and still are used in rare, important social transactions such as marriage, inheritance, political deals, sign of an alliance, ransom of the battle dead or, rarely, in exchange for food. Many of them are placed in front of meeting houses or along pathways.
Ownership is transferred without physically relocating the stones.
- See more at:
Two Chiefs of Yap Island Western Caroline Islands 
with three perforated stones

Rai, or stone money, are large, circular stone disks carved out of limestone formed from aragonite and calcite crystals. Rai stones were mined in Palau and transported for use to the island of Yap. They have been used in trade by the locals and are described by some observers as a form of currency.
There are five major types of rai stone monies: Mmbul, Gaw, Fe' or Rai, Yar, and Reng.
The considered value of a specific stone is based on its size and craftsmanship and also on the history of the stone. If many people—or no one at all—died when the specific stone was transported, or a famous sailor brought it in, the value of the rai stone increases. Rai stones were and still are used in rare, important social transactions such as marriage, inheritance, political deals, sign of an alliance, ransom of the battle dead or, rarely, in exchange for food. Many of them are placed in front of meeting houses or along pathways.
Ownership is transferred without physically relocating the stones.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Island Money, by Michael F. Bryan: 
Consider the case of the Irish American David O’Keefe from Savannah, Georgia, who, after being shipwrecked on Yap in the late nineteenth century, returned to the island with a sailing vessel and proceeded to import a large number of stones in return for a bounty of Yapese copra (coconut meat). The arrival of O’Keefe (and other Western traders) increased the number and size of the stones being brought back to the island, and by one accounting, Yap stones went from being “very rare” in 1840 to being plentiful—more than 13,000 were to be found on the island by 1929. No longer restricted by shell tools and canoes, the largest stones arriving grew from four feet in diameter to the colossal 12-foot stones that are now a part of monetary folklore. Yet the great infusion of stones did not inflate away their value. Since the stones of Captain O’Keefe were obviously more easily obtained, they traded on the island at an appropriately reduced value relative to the older stones gotten at much greater cost. In essence, O’Keefe and other Westerners were bringing in large numbers of “debased” stones that could easily be identified by the Yapese.

The following portion of the history of the stone money is agreed upon.

a. Urun and Tamangiro, from Af Village, in Tamil Munici- pality, went to the Palau Islands and obtained three pieces of stone money. They gave the larger piece to the people of Af Village. By agreement between them, Urun retained one of the smaller ones and Tamangiro the other smaller one. The piece in question in this action is the one retained by Urun in this division.

b. Urun's house burned down and the people of Af Village helped him rebuild it. In payment of this assistance, Urun gave the stone money now in question to the people of Af Village.

c. During a "tarn" celebration given by Af Village, the people of Dechumui Village put on a dance about people going on a trip and, in appreciation for this dance, the people of Af Village gave the stone money in question, among other things, to the people of Dechumur Village and the stone money was removed to Dechumur Village and remained there until about January 15, 1960.

d. Some people from Dechumur Village made a trip to Palau and brought more stone money of various sizes. The piece brought in on this trip by Tamag was the same size as that given by Af Village to Dechumur Village, and this piece brought in by Tamag was given to Af Village and the piece now in question given to Tamag in exchange for the one he brought in.

e. Tamag gave the piece now in question to his brother Fazagol when the latter was about to build a house. Fazagol gave this stone money to Puguu in payment for some tin roofing for the house.

f.    On or about January 15, 1960, the defendant Pong, with a group of men gathered by him, removed the stone money in question from Dechumur Village over the protests of the plaintiff Choo who was present during part of the removal, protested that the stone money belonged to him, and told them not to remove it. Later, on Pong's authorization, the stone money was shipped to the Money Museum of the National Bank of Detroit, Michigan, in accordance with the agreement of sale with Pong under which he received $125.00 for the stone money.


Lulus Debüt bezieht sich auf eine Legende: Napoleon III. nahm seinen Sohn Lulu mit 14 Jahren auf den Feldzug mit, auf dass er das Kriegshandwerk von der Pike auf lerne. Er solle frühzeitig seinem großen Ahnen folgen, damit, wie der Vater hoffte, aus dem kleinen Napoleon einmal ein großer werde. In Saarbrücken, in Feindesland, angelangt, stießen die beiden zum ersten Mal auf Widerstand. Napoleon meinte zu seinem Sohn Lulu, dass es nun Zeit für die erste Lektion sei, das Abfeuern einer Kanone. Diese bestand Lulu dann auch sehr gut. Die Ausbildung konnte dann allerdings nicht weiter gehen, weil danach zurückgegangen wurde. Daher konnte Lulu die soldatische Ausbildung nicht abschließen, was dann auch als Grund angenommen werden dürfte, dass er eines so jähen Todes in Afrika sterben musste

Saturday, 26 October 2013

strangely active fossils

It is as if the past surfaces in itself but in the shape of personalities which are independent, alienated, off-balance, in some sense embryonic, strangely active fossils, radioactive, inexplicable in the present where they surface, and all the more harmful and autonomous.   Deleuze 1989 /123

fossil/ foto / fetish

geological photograph / material quality of memory

There are a number of radioactive elements that occur in nature. In some cases, these can be deposited in fossil and subfossil specimens, causing the specimens to become radioactive. Naturally-occurring radioactive materials are generally not subject to regulation and these specimens do not emit enough radiation to have harmful effects on the timescales that are usually involved in the workplace. Nonetheless, it is important to be aware of the potential for radioactivity in fossils and take steps to avoid unnecessary exposure. Specimens of unknown origin should have their mineral components identified by scientific analytical methods; radioactive samples can also be identified using Geiger counter.   paleo portal

Friday, 25 October 2013

skara brae

forum / field

The Vatican Meteorite Collection:
Current research on these meteorites is centered on understanding their physical structure, including the nature and extent of the pore spaces, cracks and voids present in these rocks.

‘Forensic Architecture is grounded in both field-work and forum-work; fields are the sites of investigation and analysis and forums the political spaces in which analysis is presented and contested. Each of theses sites presents a host of architectural and political problems.
In fields, lets say starting with Territories, I attempted to engage a kind of “archeology” of present conditions as they could be read, or misread, in architecture. This archeology is not always undertaken by direct contact with the materiality under analysis, but with images of it. The spaces that we debate, analyze, or make claims on behalf of, are very often media products. Similarly, drawing a map includes synthesizing satellite and aerial images as well as images from the ground. Some images are created by optics and some by different sensors that register spectrums beyond the visible. One needs sensors to read sensors.
So this is a kind of archaeology of spaces as they are captured in these different forms of capture and registration. You read details, speckles, pixels and patterns, connect them to larger forces, or at least you understand the impossibility of doing so, often noting paradoxes and misrepresentations. We have done this very close reading of aerial images of colonies in the West Bank, we have read almost all elements from architectural through infrastructural archaeological to horticultural ones visible in these images as a set of tools in a battlefield.
Then there is the forum: a site of interpretation, verification, argumentation and decision. International courtrooms, tribunals, and human rights councils are of course the most obvious sites of contemporary forensics. But there are other political and professional forums.
Each forum is different. The third component of forensics, beyond the architectural and aesthetic, is what you need in order to stand between that “thing” and the forum: an “interpreter.” In ancient Rome it would be the orator; in our days it is perhaps the scientist, or the architect, or the geographer — the “expert witness” that translates from the language of space to the language of the forum. This definition of forensics might help expand the meaning of the term from the legal context to all sorts of others. Politics, as it is undertaken, around the problems of space and its interpretations, is a “forensic politics” as far I understand it.
Each of the multiple political and legal forums in use today — professional, scientific, parliamentary or legal — operates by a different set of protocols of representation and debate. They each have another frame of analysis. Each embodies dominant political forces and ideologies — that is to say that each instrumentalizes forensics as a part of a different ideological structure. In the turbulence of a changing world, there are also informal, subversive and ad-hoc and crisis forms of gathering: pop-up assemblies of protest and revolt in which the debate of financial, architectural (the housing or mortgage crisis), and geopolitical issues are often articulated.
Forensic architecture should thus be understood not only as dealing with the interpretation of past events as they register in spatial products, but about the construction of new forums. It is both an act of claim-making on the bases of spatial research and potentially an act of forum-building.’ 

FORUM / what is out of doors
a meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.
an Internet message board
a public square or marketplace used for judicial and other business. 
FORES [outside] door 

Old English feld "plain, open land" (as opposed to woodland), also "a parcel of land marked off and used for pasture or tillage," probably related to Old English folde "earth, land," from Proto-Germanic *felthuz "flat land" (common West Germanic, cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian feld "field," Old Saxon folda "earth," Middle Dutch velt, Dutch veld Old High German felt, German Feld "field," but not found outside it; Swedish fält, Danish felt are borrowed from German), from PIE *pel(e)-tu-, from root *pele- (2) "flat, to spread" (see plane (n.1)).  

"to go out to fight," 16c., from field (n.) in the specific sense of "battlefield" (Old English). The meaning "to stop and return the ball" is first recorded 1823, originally in cricket; figurative sense is from 1902. 

A physical phenomenon, such as force, potential, or fluid velocity, that pervades a region.
magnetic field
A region containing a particular mineral
A component of a database record in which a single unit of information is stored.
 A physical or virtual location for the input of information in the form of characters.
course of study or domain of knowledge
A realm of practical, direct, or natural operation,
The background of the shield. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

theme from phonokinetoscope

i'm the i they failed to dot
from the land that time forgot
i just lost my train of thought
i saw someone sitting on a rock

Sunday, 13 October 2013

philosophers' stones

split the tree, and i am in the wood; lift a stone and i am there
apocryphal gospel

the stone is god, but it does not know it, and it is the not knowing that makes it a stone
meister eckhart

Goethite / named for goethe, in use since prehistoric times as a pigment

Friday, 11 October 2013

wherein she was common, and hath begun a property.

Sec.30. Thus this law of reason makes the deer that Indian's who hath killed it; it is allowed to be his goods, who hath bestowed his labour upon it, though before it was the common right of every one. And amongst those who are counted the civilized part of mankind, who have made and multiplied positive laws to determine property, this original law of nature, for the beginning of property, in what was before common, still takes place; and by virtue thereof, what fish any one catches in the ocean, that great and still remaining common of mankind; or what ambergrise any one takes up here, is by the labour that removes it out of that common state nature left it in, made his property, who takes that pains about it. And even amongst us, the hare that any one is hunting, is thought his who pursues her during the chase: for being a beast that is still looked upon as common, and no man's private possession; whoever has employed so much labour about any of that kind, as to find and pursue her, has thereby removed her from the state of nature, wherein she was common, and hath begun a property.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Fernand Deligny

.....Writing here is possibly an expression of the innate, and is thus not about “making” sense but is merely the innate ritual of “acting”, the mode of the Arachnean. It is what Deligny would call “a-conscious”, outside the conscious or subconscious. As the Brazilian philosopher and Deligny scholar, Peter Pàl Pelbart states,
“Deligny refers to the turtle traced by the aborigine in a tree’s bark, then abandoned–the essential there is the tracing, the movements of the hand that come and go, not being this “his” hand, just as the web is not this one spider’s…and our emotion comes from the fact that this drawing is common; a sense common to us, human, since the human has for common the hand in motion. Common, communism. When conscience is eclipsed it is worth looking, as if at a lunar eclipse, and what is seen, even if it is not visible, are the traces of the Arachnean.
It is within “acting” in an innate, unattached manner, keeping a distance from one another, that the network was spun
“[…] anyone who came from one of the distant collectives and passed by the silk farm would place, lettuce, blackberries or cheeses on the stone which were from another collective, and then would take back with them whatever had been placed by someone else on their own collective’s stone. For the most part, all of this took place without anyone else being present besides the passerby from the collective.”
A profound detachment to naming and to others at once proximate and distant...

Drew S. Burk

 Cartes et lignes d’erre, 1969-1978  

spectres and fossils


the persistent image:
is what Andreas Kitzmann called a “museal gesture,” what Jean Baudrillard called “museumification,” and what André Bazin called the “mummy complex,”

Dom Sylvester Houédard

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Idolatrous forms of behaviour / miley cyrus

proskuneo (pros-koo-neh'-o); 
From pros and a probable derivative of kuon (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore)

Idolatrous forms of behaviour ///  kissing, licking or offering money to relics and images.

symbol of the industrial proletariat☭tool of the iconoclast☭

Saturday, 5 October 2013

wb/ prehistory /


Works of art are received and valued on different planes. Two polar types stand out; with one, the accent is on the cult value; with the other, on the exhibition value of the work. Artistic production begins with ceremonial objects destined to serve in a cult. One may assume that what mattered was their existence, not their being on view. The elk portrayed by the man of the Stone Age on the walls of his cave was an instrument of magic. He did expose it to his fellow men, but in the main it was meant for the spirits. Today the cult value would seem to demand that the work of art remain hidden. Certain statues of gods are accessible only to the priest in the cella; certain Madonnas remain covered nearly all year round; certain sculptures on medieval cathedrals are invisible to the spectator on ground level. With the emancipation of the various art practices from ritual go increasing opportunities for the exhibition of their products. It is easier to exhibit a portrait bust that can be sent here and there than to exhibit the statue of a divinity that has its fixed place in the interior of a temple. The same holds for the painting as against the mosaic or fresco that preceded it. And even though the public presentability of a mass originally may have been just as great as that of a symphony, the latter originated at the moment when its public presentability promised to surpass that of the mass.
With the different methods of technical reproduction of a work of art, its fitness for exhibition increased to such an extent that the quantitative shift between its two poles turned into a qualitative transformation of its nature. This is comparable to the situation of the work of art in prehistoric times when, by the absolute emphasis on its cult value, it was, first and foremost, an instrument of magic. Only later did it come to be recognized as a work of art. In the same way today, by the absolute emphasis on its exhibition value the work of art becomes a creation with entirely new functions, among which the one we are conscious of, the artistic function, later may be recognized as incidental. This much is certain: today photography and the film are the most serviceable exemplifications of this new function.


Agamben / philosophical archaeology/ 2009
And it is something similar that Benjamin might have had in mind, when, in Overbeck’s footsteps, he wrote that in the monadological structure of the historical object are contained both ‘prehistory’ and ‘post-history’ (Vor- und Nachgeschichte), or when he suggested that the entire past must be immersed into the present in a ‘historical apocatastasis’ (Benjamin 1982, p. 573). (Apocatastasis is the restitution in the origin which, according to Origenes, takes place at the end of times; qualifying an eschatological reality as ‘historical’, Benjamin uses an image very similar to the foucaultian ‘a priori’.)

Friday, 4 October 2013

Project Gnome Markers

Kelli Anderson

Another pattern that emerged from the referenced texts was the importance of redundancy in creating tangible, long lasting messages. The use of redundancy and multiples may aid in the reception of small scale communications, while contributing to the longevity of large scale messages. The Assyrian stone tablets mentioned in Chapter 1 provide an example of how redundancy can be used in deciphering small scale messages. The overlap of the symbols appearing on the tablets, as well as the patterns emerging from them as a group help later scholars interpret their meaning. Since “...several components within a given marking design, a number of items within each component, and cross referencing to link components...” were used, meaning can be extracted even though the symbols used were not initially understood. The ability to read these symbols comes from the interconnected, self deciphering web created by their overlap, not by the intrinsic communicative properties of the characters themselves. In terms of large scale communications, Goodenough cites Stonehenge as an example where a multiples strategy contributed to the longevity of the monument. He notes that although a third of the stones have been removed from the site, the quantity of stones used ensures that enough remain to reconstruct’ the original design.
If the designers of Stonehenge had employed a single, monolithic approach, wherein only one stone was used, it would almost surely be gone today. The use of multiple stones, which creates a sense of environment versus a sense of object, promotes the longevity of a site. Stonehenge remains intact today largely due to the multiples strategy employed in its construction.

Excerpts from Expert Judgement on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation PilotPlant
(Sandia National Laboratories report SAND92-1382 / UC-721, p. F-49)

Figure 4.3-6. Spikes Bursting Through Grid, view 2 (concept by Michael Brill and art by Safdar Abidi).  

General descriptions of the conceptual design for the permanent marker components contained in the CCA are provided below; Figure 2 illustrates their locations. Additional detailis provided in Section 5.0.
1.Large Surface Markers - The conceptual design calls for 32 Large Surface Markers erected on the perimeter of the controlled area, and 16 markers erected on the perimeter of the repository footprint, within the Berm. Each marker will consist of two separate stone monoliths joined by a mortise-and-tenon joint; the lower member will be a truncated pyramid and the upper member will be a right prism. 
2. Small Subsurface Markers - The Small Subsurface Markers will be small buried disks warning of the presence of the repository. They will be buried throughout the repository footprint, within the Berm, and within the shaft seals. They will be randomly spaced and buried at depths ranging from two to six feet below the surface. 
3. Berm- The Berm will enclose an area that is 110 percent of the repository footprint. As currently planned, it will have a core base material of salt; the core will be protected by at least two other types of materials. Magnets and Radar Reflectors will be buried in the Berm. These will be buried at specified intervals in the Berm, producing distinctive anomalous magnetic and radar-reflective signatures. A Buried Storage Room will also be constructed at grade inside the Berm on its south side.
4.Buried Storage Rooms- One Buried Storage Room will be buried within the Berm. This room will be constructed at grade level at the center of the southern section of the Berm. It will be completely covered by Berm material. A second Buried Storage Room will be buried in the controlled area outside of the Berm and the repository footprint. This room will be buried approximately 20 feet below the surface, north of the Berm on a line passing through the Information Cent er, the center of the northern and southern sections of the Berm and the Hot Cell. 
5. Hot Cell - This is an existing reinforced concrete 40-by-70 foot structure with walls 4.5 feet thick. Its foundation extends 30 feet below grade, and the roof is 60 feet above grade. The Hot Cell will remain after closure as an “archeological remnant,” effectively serving the function of an additional permanent marker. 
6. Information Center- The Information Center will be an open structure having a rectangular design. It will be located on the land surface at the center of the repository footprint.

stone kissing

The act of fixing a stone to mark a place of worship is as old as history. In the Bible we are told that Jacob, on whom be peace, had fixed a stone at a place where he saw a vision. He poured oil on it and called it Bethel meaning 'house of God' (see Genesis 28:18). He did this again upon God's instruction (see Genesis 35:1, 14, 15). No one should understand from this that God instructed Jacob to worship the stone. (Shabir Ally, Common Questions People Ask About Islam, p. 46)
The Black stone is not worshipped by the pilgrims:

Muslims go to Makkah to glorify God, not to kiss a stone or worship a man or a semi-divinity. Kissing or touching the Black Stone at the Ka`bah is an optional action, not obligatory or prescribed. Those who kiss the Black Stone or touch it do not do it because they have faith in the Stone or attribute any superstitious qualities to it. Their faith is in God only. They kiss, touch or point at the Stone only as a token of respect or a symbol of love for Prophet Muhammad, who laid the Stone at the foundation of the Ka`bah when it was reconstructed. (1)

A sapphire hard drive is reported to have been developed that can store information on nuclear waste dumps for up to a million years - enough time for safe radioactive decay

The sapphire disk is one product of that effort. It's made from two thin disks, about 20 centimeters across, of industrial sapphire. On one side, text or images are etched in platinum—Charton says a single disk can store 40,000 miniaturized pages—and then the two disks are molecularly fused together. All a future archaeologist would need to read them is a microscope.