in reference to mythologies, I just posted my brief
comments on historical relativity. In my opinion
and experience, the term (relative interpretation)
also applies to science. As Andrea noted in quantum
physics, but also in the medical sciences interpretations
(while based on repeatable tests) vary greatly.
This is of course recorded through the history of
science but is equally valid today.
Historically there have been curious overlaps
between science and mythology, some of this I
have discovered through the study of electro
and especially bioelectromagnetism. Consider
for example magnetic therapy - the earliest accounts
have been traced to Africa, where ground bloodstone
(natural magnetite) has been used since thousands of
years in food and potions. Or bioelectricity -
the discharge of the Torpedo Mamorata fish,
can still be seen on the walls of certain Egyptian
tombs dating to 2750 BC.
As a contemporary cross-over, consider
Magnetic Therapy with some applications in
medicine, but also sweeping online advertisements
by companies such as Magnetherapy, Inc,
of Riviera Beach, Florida, a company that
has been subjected to two regulatory actions.
Or Bio-Electrography/ Kirlian photography
which has been used for a few decades
mainly in Russia,(and elsewhere as well,
sometimes surreptiously by secret
services) yet it is highly contested in certain
Consequently, I don't see a clear cut difference
between science and other mythologies.
>I'd like to comment on the recent posts on mythology. The discussion is
>centered around mythology and non-western ('other') cultures, but of
>course mythologies (beliefs about the way the world works) shape
>everything we do, on both personal and social/global scales. Many of
>these mythologies have come from scientific advances and this underlines
>the need for sensitivity in the communication of scientific discoveries,
>where artists can make an important contribution.
>For example, the current creationist movement in the US, while
>unapologetically 'anti-scientific' (and in the poltical sphere we're
>seeing much more rejection of scientific ideas as 'beliefs'), it is
>important to note the horrible genocides in the 20th (and 21st) centuries
>that use genetics as justification.
>The concept of racial/genetic purity is pervasive even though a more
>sophisticated understanding of genetics shows that there is no such thing
>as genetic purity (indeed no clear genetic markers for race), yet the
>mythology still remains.
>I'm wondering what people in the list think about the movement to reject
>scientific findings as 'beliefs'? I'm conflicted, on the one hand
>clear that politicians and religious leaders are likening science to a
>belief system to justify various kinds of social control, on the other,
>isn't it intellectually honest to admit that science is a world view much
>of which is driven by certain kinds of beliefs (highly tested beliefs, but
>quantum physics seems to ask us to accept uncertainty). How does one
>clearly artciulate the differences between science and other mythologies?
>Associate Professor of Integrated Media Arts
>The Department of Film and Media, Hunter College
>695 Park Ave. New York, NY 10021
>t (212) 772-5589
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 12:44:48 +1200
>> From: "Emma Bugden" <emma(a)tetuhi-themark.org.nz>
>> Subject: Re: [Ada_list] Session Two
>> To: "Aotearoa Digital Arts" <ada_list(a)list.waikato.ac.nz>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>> Hi everyone,
>> Having been offline for a few days due to illness and general technical
>>incompetency, it's great to get back and read the discussions around this
>> I've been thinking a lot about Lisa's very interesting comment that she
>>is wary of the term 'mythology' because when associated with indigenous
>>practice the inference is that one is dabbling in fantasy and not with
>>fact. Mythology is certainly a loaded and problematic term, bringing with
>>it a certain amount of exoticism and the 'other'. In defining something
>>as mythology it can relegate it to a domain which is alluring but not
>> (Which reminds me of viewing Gabr?ela Fri?riksd?ttir's exhibition at the
>>Icelandic Pavillion at last years Venice Biennial, an installation
>>drawing on a range of Icelandic myths and including a video of Bj?rk as a
>>fertility goddess giving birth to something yucky. Afterwards I talked to
>>an Icelandic artist who said 'international curators only want to show
>>Icelandic work about Nordic mythology with Bj?rk in it somewhere - it's
>>another way of keeping us as the freak show'.)
>> However, given that, what I do like about it as a term is that it
>>includes an acknowledgement within itself of the many layers/slants of
>>truths within any retelling of history. Isn't all fact partly fantasy?
>>Nina's discussion on the mythologies of ancient Nordic tribes reminds me
>>that The Kalevala, the Finnish epic legend originated from traditional
>>oral folk poems, is what Tolkien based Lord of the Rings on, which then
>>came to be seen as a definitive English tale, and which can now be seen
>>as, depending on whose eyes you look through, either a truly New Zealand
>>tale or an American one....mythologies AND histories are constantly
>>shifting / being co-opted.
>> I'm also enjoying thinking about Lisa's comment that 'Maori thought
>>collapse time' which Danny also feed into with his comment that 'Maui and
>>the other great tricksters/new-media-artists (SunSnare 2.0 beta ;) )
>>remind me that to be an agent of change, for "the new" isn't always
>>the best.' The non-linear nature of the internet has always seemed a good
>>vehicle for representations of historical events simply because it can
>>host multiple versions of the same event simultaneously...
>> Cheers, Emma
>> Emma Bugden
>> Curatorial Director
>> te tuhi - the mark
>> 13 Reeves Road
>> PO Box 51 222
>> Manukau City
>> Aotearoa New Zealand
>> 09 577 0138 ext. 7704