Monday I met Karen Lisa Salamon at a cafe in Copenhagen. In fact, we should have met this fall when I was writing my Research Paper. I asked her if she would meet and talk about coincidence, serendipity. She said yes, but it turned out that she was too busy at that time.
Karen Lisa Salamon is Associate Professor, Anthropologist, PhD and mag.scient., researcher, writer.
I told KLS about my subject for the research paper as well as the practical part of my Master Project (Surrealism etc.).
This blog post is a loose summary of our conversation. I made this as a note.
It annoyed me that I did not record our talk since I only took notes from Karen Lisa and not myself, and therefore it becomes a bit unclear.
Very quickly we talked about some great thinkers there among Walter Benjamin. She told me that WB was much more than art and ide historian. That he also experimented with himself, used memories to associate and that he took his own life in Paris in 1938.
KLS recommended me reading “Childhood in Berlin”.
We talked about what could be a trigger for creativity. KLS mentioned Dali. He made his own Tarot card which he used to start his imagination. Dali read the cards; he saw signs. It is to find in “Tarot Universal Dali”.
Seeing signs can be drawn back to Paracelsus. For Paracelsus, the image of God, the signature of the Creator, is stamped into all created things. In his science, he also included alchemy, astrology and occultism.
KLS write about Paracelsus in “Naveus Falmmeus” (a cultural essay):
In the early 1500s wrote alchemist and physician Paracelsus that “everything has a sign” – a signature. All patterns and shapes could be decoded into deeper insights. Particularly inaugurated could read the true, divine meaning of everything. According to the science of signature could the location of the star in the sky, the pattern of plant leaves and people’s eczema is read as a sign and be related to each other. Everything was connected.
Paracelsus believed that all plants had a divine determination against diseases and that diseases should be divided into their healing effect. He placed great emphasis on accurate dosage and must have said, “It depends only on the dose whether a poison is poisonous or not.” Pretty much as nowadays homoeopathy.
Giorgio Agamben has followed up writing about sign; that everything has a sign. Book: The Signature of All Things
Surrealism playing with science causality makes obstructions in rationality understanding and enlarges the anomalous.
We are talking about the quantum theory of Bohr and Einstein, if you can predict everything and if everything has a crossword – a key, a keyhole.
Monster mythology – The idea of disharmony, the imperfect internal error. It goes back to Hippocrates, and again in renæcancen also Frankenstein. It is the meeting between science and nature attribution.
In the recent years, the anthropologist fieldwork is also to feel and sense. In fact, much of the anthropologist’s working method is derived from the biology; It must be repeated and validated.
An early anthropologist Malinowski, stranded during World War I on a Pacific island, and became the inventor of the long fieldwork.
Postmodernism goes against universal Western thinking – concepts such as ambivalence, unpredictability, ambiguity, differentiation, currents, dialogues, games and irony are essential in postmodern thinking. KLS mentioned coincidence as a player in Postmodernism. Dada worked against the rationale.
– Everything can not be measured. If you see the world from just one angle, there is only one truth.
Serendipity – We are talking about Clumsy Hans, maybe he was a manipulator who made bad things to look good, but the idea was that he found something useless that he could persuade the princess. Thus became the useless objects valuable.
The one who takes serendipity up and uses it does it through his own cultural, social and historical narrative – The coincidence lands in an already manured soil (the human).
Perhaps it’s characteristic of our time, with the cultivation of the coincidence, we need something beyond our quest for something religious.
I quote Hans Richter for his statements about Dada’s invention of the low of chance.
KLS made false treasures as a child, considering what one might think about the people who lived at the time the treasure was buried. It’s about heritage and environment and what we read/decodes – the science of sign.
KLS does not seem that magic in the scientific world is no problem.