note from the curator

note from the curator

Andrew Forrest Baker


We drew on walls with our fingertips.

We waited as centuries passed in moments, as words formed composite meanings, minerals compounded. Minerva smiling.

Oils from our skin glistened in metallic shimmers of an afternoon dust left to settle.

We invented language on our bedroom: a common communication known only to us. And we used our shared tongue to define it.

We wanted to leave behind a story for those who would inherit our place, for those who’d appear to tear us down.

How would they interpret us? [1]

What etymology would be used?

How would they rectify the conflict in our ideals?




Your fingers swept idly across the screen, a forced scroll through the new thoughts of memories you left behind in high school. Sarah has a baby now; Jordan is a vegan. And your second cousin twice removed twice proposed a meme you had to trace backwards to a source to discover if it was true. Words atop an image swamped in contextual understanding. Or a lack thereof. The same words for one or the other. A completely different viewpoint creating focus. Understanding.

And the words themselves: tagged with little pictures, universal symbols we each read differently.[2] Heiroglyphs.

I baked a cake [3] for Sarah’s child.

We speak in ideas, the images of which cloud our minds in an ever-changing array of what knowledge came before. An approach through etymology with only our personal historical context. Which pink did you mean? When you asked me out for coffee, was it okay for me to get a cappuccino? Language invites a complexity of meaning, enjoys exploding inference. It allows for a concise communique that explores a rich variance in hues. It is constantly a love letter to itself.

But, too, there are the contradictions. This is this because it is not that. Yet that is this because this time it’s not that. There is the full account and the narrower viewpoint. And both are true, and both are required, and both are reliant upon the other for meaning to exist in either form.

Deconstruction criticizes the very language used to discuss it.

Can we be in love with language and still break it down, break it apart, see what else it can do? Like an overbearing partner. Or an endlessly hopeful high school language arts instructor?

Derrida saw the pleasure and the power in what it is not. To define a thing by what it is not, or not only, is to introduce a world of possibilities into what it is or could be.

What else can we trace?

What else can be mined from what we leave behind?


[1] Plato begot Heiddeger begot Derrida begot whom?

[2] This 🏠  is not my home. Nor does every house across the world look like the house I mean when I say house. And I don’t think Ashley is making cock  🍆  parmesan tonight for dinner.

[3] What recipe was used? What ingredients? Different from yours—a difference--, sure, but tasty and new when compiled.

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