Peripheral Knowledge: Session 1: Subject, Object, Subject

Peripheral Knowledge is a lecture series for artists to present research of all kinds.
The series explores the play between the seeking out of information, the quiet possession of knowledge, and the creative process. Neglected research will be brought into the light of day, and presented as something of inherent value, separate from the work it helped create.

Peripheral Knowledge: Session 1
Subject, Object, Subject

Artist Caitlin Peck will give a talk that circles around one of the human processes of longing, the souvenir. By definition it is an object used to recall a certain place, time, or person, however as a verb it means to steal. Rachel Poloquin defines souvenirs as, “only fragments of increasingly distant experiences or events, and so are necessarily incomplete, partial, and impoverished” (The Breathless Zoo). Through her research, Peck has distinguished two separate umbrellas for classification of these memory objects: the common souvenir and the self-selected souvenir. She will discuss how she arrived at these two categories and the human need/process of narrative-forming in identity creation.

New media artist and writer Christopher Vandegrift  will present on the gambling-oriented ‘dream book’ genre — the genre’s origins, its development vis-à-vis numbers gambling and organized crime in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the connections between the dream book publishing and spiritual product industries (with a particular emphasis on the history and practices of Philadelphia businesses like the now-defunct Harry’s Occult Shop).

For the first session of this multi-part lecture series there is no “theme of the night”, but there are some thematic links to be drawn between Peck’s presentation of her research on souvenirs, and Vandergrift’s exploration of the ‘dream book’. The use of mass produced objects for very personal concerns like fortune and memory, and the ways personal memorabilia can tie into the broader web of history, are threads that run through both presentations.
Each lecture will be followed by a Q & A.
Peripheral Knowledge is organized by Sari Widman, and will take place at Art/ Assembly.
Sunday June 7th; 7pm
Art/ Assembly is located on the 4th floor of 3245 Amber st.
267 277 2666