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Fleeing from Absence: Four Cross-Disciplinary Essays on Time, Its Nature and Its Interpretations

Fleeing from Absence: Four Cross-Disciplinary Essays on Time, Its Nature and Its Interpretations

by Olga Ast and Jula Druk
Ugly Ducking Presse, NY, NY, 2009
100 pp. Paper, $25.00
ISBN: 978-933254-57-9.

Reviewed by Jack Ox
University of New Mexico


What is Art/Science? Sometimes it is more ‘artful’ than ‘scientific,’ and sometimes artists completely enter the realm of scientific scholarship and method, bringing to the science method elements of creative practice.

This small book, in a stylized seven-inch square format, is an artist’s book. It is artful and creatively designed. When I read it as I read a poem, I find it to be a very pleasant experience. The drawings and photographic images created by Ast often include photographs taken from Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

However, it is not a deep thinking experience.  The sub-title, four cross-disciplinary essays on time, its nature and its interpretations, promises something more from a philosophical and/or a linguistic point of view.

The authors, one of whom is not credited on the front of the book, talk about the metaphor of time. However, they do not ever define metaphor. Since the early 80s there has been a large area of scholarship devoted to this very subject. The authors should be aware of this as it is the subject of their book, and they should give the definition(s) that they are applying to their analysis.

But is it an analysis— or is this ‘artistic’ musing about a very interesting subject? It must be the second because even though there is a touching on different ways to see and approach the notion of ‘time’, there is little referencing and deep thinking about the issues that are talked about.

So, going back to my original question of ‘what is Art/Science?,’ this book is art, not science, philosophy, linguistics, or any kind of scholarship. It is charming and lovely, but does not deliver on the promise of its sub-title. 

Last Updated 5 September, 2010

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