SERENDIPITY | Changescapes III

Posted on 09/11/2010

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I was loitering at Folio Books this morning whittling away waiting time prior to a meeting. I love the way books and browsing can ‘take time’ – just a few minutes to grab at writing and words between other kinds of busyness. Even though the intention is for time to pass, it can sometimes feel like it stops. As I shuffle the carefully stacked and ordered books, I stumble across an anthology edited by Jennifer Rutherford and Barbara Holloway titled Halfway House: The Poetics of Australia Spaces. As I flip through its pages, I note the first essay by Ross Gibson is titled Changescapes. In this rather gentle and undulating essay, Gibson described understanding country as a ‘changescape’, where “there are long established aesthetic systems in some special places that have been built purposefully to intensify their inhabitants’ experience and to enhance people’s appreciation of the complex dynamics that are at play when natural, social and psychological domains commingle and alter each other in this world full of mutability.” (p 24)  In short, “a changescaper is concerned with systems rather than structures.” (p 26) I’ll spent more time with this text to write more meaningfully from it rather than quote.

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