to ensure its cultural expansion

5. Research Project

A fifth repertory category may be evolved through the Research Project, an activity obligatory for all the members of the Scratch Orchestra, to ensure its cultural expansion.

The Research Project. The universe is regarded from the viewpoint of travel. This means that an infinite number of research vectors are regarded as hypothetically travellable. Travels may be undertaken in many dimensions, e.g. temporal, spatial, intellectual, spiritual, emotional. I imagine any vector will be found to impinge on all these dimensions at some point or other. For instance, if your research vector is the Tiger, you could be in volved in time (since the tiger represents an evolving species), space (a trip to the zoo), intellect (the tiger’s biology), spirit (the symbolic values acuired by the tiger) and emotion (your subjective relation to the animal).

The above is an intellectual structure, so for a start let’s make the research vector a a word or group of words rather than an object or an impression etc. A record of research is kept in the Scratchbook and this record may be made available to all.


Research vector: The Sun
Research record: Looked up astronomical data in EB & made notes to the accpt of dustmotes (symbol of EB) and sunbeams
1-28.vii. Holiday in the Bahamas to expose myself to the sun
29.vii. Saw ‘the Sun’ as a collection of 6 letters and wrote out the 720 combinations of them.
1.viii. Go interested in Sun’s m. or f. gender in different languages, and thence to historical personages regarded as the Sun (like Mao Tse-Tung). Sought an astrological link between them.

Cornelius Cardew in
Cox, Christoph and Daniel Warner, Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music. New York: Continuum, 2004. 236-7.

Encyclopedia Britannica

Latham, Tom. “Encyclopedia Britannica,” 1971
16mm film transferred to DVD (black & white, silent). 6:33 min

This is a stop-frame animation documenting an entire 32-volume set of the Encyclopedia Britannica, one page for every frame of film. The film becomes increasingly over-exposed as the film goes on. The acceleration and obfuscation of the text and images alludes to the difficulties in processing or ‘taking on’ knowledge received in this form.

ascent on the spot

Speaking of his research, Merleau-Ponty says in one place that it is an “ascent on the spot”; very often he sees it describe a circle, bringing him to pass by the same stopping points again and again.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice and Claude Lefort, The Visible and the Invisible. Evanston, Illinois:Northwestern University Press, 1968. xxvi.