links and invitations and curiosity
May 17, 2006
Some of the bloggers I read include a “links for the day” posting where they link to four or five sites sometimes with little or no information about why those links have been chosen. I guess if you like a blogger’s fare then you’re likely to understand why they’ve chosen this particular selection.
I’m also a member of a number of listservs in relation to my research and occasionally someone will link to an article or a site and ask others what they think about it, without saying why they have selected what they have and what interests them about it.
Sometimes, depending on what mood I’m in – I’ll get a bit grumpy and say to myself “why are they posting links? Isn’t that just lazy? Expecting me to do the finding out?”
I think of blogs as curated spaces…the selection of what we choose to talk about or link to, says something considered about who each of us are. In much the same way as walking into a gallery space, there’s the individual art pieces and then there’s the selection together – what does this say about the artist’s body of work? What does it say about the curator who gathered together this particular selection of work?
I work with a lot of arts and cultural organisations and come up against the “what does it mean?” comments frequently. I’m lucky to work with people who want to make it possible to make connections between the work, where it is shown, who makes it, what it means, and how people can make their own meaning from the experience. Part of my work is to create thinking spaces for people to say “I don’t understand that” and for it to be acceptable to do so.
While I’m initially confused by the links many bloggers post, I can choose to engage with them, follow my nose (and theirs) and maybe discover something interesting for myself. I don’t need to be spoon fed the whole way. If I know something of the blogger’s interests and work then the selection tells me something more about their interests without them having to spell it all out for me. The list is an invitation – and likewise when someone is confused in a group I’m working with, their confusion is also an invitation to curiosity.