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Tag "Time"
on the Bard College Berlin Student Blog

“The Wait” is a short fiction piece by guest contributor Elena Gagovska, a BA2 student in the HAST program at BCB

Christina felt bored waiting in line at the insurance office and tapped her little finger against her chin obsessively. She was there to renew the health insurance for her  two-year-old. It wasn’t a complicated procedure, really, but, just as I would be, Christina was scandalized at the fact that she had to physically go to a place to get something that she thought could easily be computerized. Actually, Christina had a lot of thoughts about a lot of things. But she just worked as tech support for a small law firm and lacked a column or blog-type platform  on which to express and publish her thoughts. When the urge to tell the world how she perceived it started overwhelming her a few years ago, Christina opened a Twitter account under the alias “ITBoredom”. It was more of a way to express her dissatisfaction with her job and current affairs than an intellectual megaphone.

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Dance workshop with Eva Burghardt. Photo: Inasa Bibic

Dance workshop with Eva Burghardt. Photo: Inasa Bibic

Dancer and choreographer Eva Burghardt gave an intensive dance workshop on campus the weekend of 25th-26th of April. Body Space Landscape was a «movement-based» workshop which mainly aimed at exploring all three categories through questioning the conservative understanding of dance as an artistic medium for certain types of corporeal expression. After two days of thinking bodies in movement, whether in the space of the studio or the architecture of a factory, or the topography of a park, I am still stupefied (almost ashamedly) by what I have considered to be a qualitatively different philosophical experience. Never before have I seen dance and philosophy — two distinct modalities of experiencing the world (as I previously thought) — converge in such a spontaneous and highly effective fashion. How does one think movement? I am convinced that both dance and philosophy (and here, dance will be privileged) are helpful in (beginning to) answering this question.

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Lorraine Daston

Lorraine Daston

Lorraine Daston is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin and Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her expertise lies within the history and philosophy of science. On 28th February 2013, Prof. Daston came to ECLA of Bard to give a lecture on “Observation, Time, and Scientific Experience in Early Modern Europe”.

Attending Lorraine Daston’s lecture was extremely enlightening, as she has a great command of this subject and her lecture prompted an altogether fresh understanding of scientific development during the 16th and 17th centuries. Throughout her talk, Daston had a firm disposition and was beaming with clarity of purpose. She started her lecture by talking about the reasons which led her to initiate her research into the history of observation in early modern Europe. According to Daston, many scholars have investigated the history of the scientific revolution, but her research pays particular attention to the methods and procedures developed for scientific logic during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Daston explained to the audience how observation started out in the households of illiterate peasants or on ships at sea and then evolved to become a learned experience and a part of university curriculum. It was rather surprising to hear this, since, as a modern audience, our relation to science is entirely based on empirical evidence. But, as Daston pointed out, empirical knowledge was considered merely conjectural knowledge at the time, due to the lack of sophisticated methods of inquiry. Beginning with the 16th century, a gradual shift took place in the status of science, from mere superstition to an authentic explanation of the world around. This shift occurred as an outcome of two phenomena: first, the increasing number of voyages to other territories became an incentive to develop navigation and travelling skills; second, there was a growing desire among scholars to establish the principles of the world with a degree of certainty.

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