All posts by Paul Raven

Six foot of unkempt postgraduate researcher.

much more than a dispassionate record of events

The retrospective coloring of historical judgment shows that history is much more than a dispassionate record of events; it is a dynamic, living web of interpretations. We are not doomed to a false choice between purely objective facts and revisionism, with its often-groundless contestation of those fact[s]. Instead, we ought to observe, carefully and critically, who interprets historical materials, how, and for what purpose, as well as when and where. What does the 2022 equation V Day = Z Day in Putin’s Russia convey? Is it a simple betrayal of Soviet anti-Nazi fight? How does this betrayal unfold in the name of the very ideals and people it betrays? Only such precise questioning, which avoids readymade labels and conclusions, is capable of untangling the complexities of the historical web. And this is a lesson in the meaning of history, which Putin has taught us, largely despite himself.

Related reading, with more historical meat, in the latest from Adam Tooze.

peter cook

Yep, the Archigram guy. (Insert your own “Dudley Moore notable by his absence” gag here.) From his just-now-ending retrospective exhibition at Louisiana, Denmark.

A fifty-plus-year career of drawing the wildest way-out shit and still managing to package it as architecture*; an inspiration for eccentrics of all sorts. Beating that sort of path for yourself anywhere outside of Start-Up World is surely a harder game now than it was then… or maybe that’s just what those of us who can’t pull it off end up saying by way of self-comfort.

[ * I knew he was still working and teaching, but didn’t know he was still occasionally getting actual buildings put up… still less that I’d been in one just a few years ago, namely the Kunsthaus Graz. Obvious in hindsight, but then what isn’t? ]