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Feeling the network

I love harmonographs. Place the tip of the pen on the paper and set the pendula in motion. Then watch in wonder as the drawing slowly reveals itself: a unique shape, one that has the aura of individuality whilst also feeling deeply predictable and connected. What I particularly like about this one (I did some years ago now) is that it used a blue biro pen which was beginning to dry out: the line stutters, as the pen struggles to keep up with the motion, and has faded over time from blue to brown. So it is with the my Creative Fellowship at Exeter Uni: things are moving on. While I will continue to research (I’ve still got a list of people I want to talk with on the network) I have set the pen on the paper and nudged the pendula into motion, this time three of them: one is science, a second social science, and a third art. For now my working title is ‘Feeling the Network’, and I am interested in linking the personal to the network-scale. As is my way, never happy to stick to my own tools, I am planning on working with some of the techniques used by the scientists, such as metagenomic sequencing and bioinfomatics. This is a way of grounding me in the day-to-day reality of the research that the network is involved with. The first push back is the question of how I can expect scientists to justify doing this work which is not “really asking/answering any research questions”. In which case my first job is to formulate the right questions. [Call it artistic license, if you will!]

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