Serendiptologists of the Universe, Welcome

(Gin, Oranges) and the Origin of Serendipity

‘One cannot reach Serendip by plotting a course for it, one must set out in good faith and lose one’s bearings serendipitously…’ John Barth, The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor.

The first thought of Serendiptology occurred in a park outside the Ecole Superiere des Beaux Arts in Angers, France. While in conversation with a fellow student (Konstantina Niina Achilleos of Finland/Cyprus) we realised our need for a realm of study in which to find ourselves…the term began as an escape from ART and its prejudices, yet mostly due to our insecurity and uncertainty as artists. Artists make Art, but what do Serendiptologists make? We didn’t know, but we were sure there was something to be discovered.

In retrospect, this field of study has refreshed my perspective and provided the platform for a new outlook on the process of making “ART”. It helped to structure our thinking, thus forming something refreshing and liberating, focusing not on the end product of art, but the process and means to this end…

I must admit I’m still not entirely sure what that something is, but I am intrigued by the artist as Investigator; Serendiptologists as Le Nouveau Explorer.

The Study of Serendipity…

The phenomenon of serendipity is prevalent in the fields of science, technology and the arts: the ubiquitous nature of serendipity is present within many philosophies and diverse artistic practices yet furthermore, extends itself to all creative efforts.

{ Serendipity as the process of making and developing unexpected yet intuitive discoveries; thus, Serendiptology as the reflective attitudinal process of considering contingencies, intuitive discoveries and social/quotidian improvisations. }

Serendipity has received considerable attention within investigative research, yet has arguably been overlooked in terms of artistic practice (my field of research and practice). The process of artistic creation can be seen as unrestricted, qualitative research equally (if not more) receptive to moments of serendipity. Therefore, in the realm of art, ‘serendipity’ provides an as yet relatively undefined concept to be sculpted within the framework of life and creativity in order to gain a novel and valuable methodical perspective.

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3 thoughts on “Serendiptologists of the Universe, Welcome

  1. My name is Anne Lydiat. I heard the programme on Chance yesterday on Radio 4 and was fascinated to hear about the creation of your coracle drawings. I live on a boat/ship on the River Thames and have been making drawings utilising the movement of the vessel ie passing river traffic and particularly the high tides. I am just about to embark on a Phd on the ‘Ship’ as a heterotopic space (Foucault) and my drawings are a key element of this research. I would love to make contact with you to include your work.
    Best wishes
    Anne Lydiat

    • Hello there, and wow. Thanks so much for getting in touch. This all sounds very interesting. I am actually taking the coracle out onto the sea tomorrow for another adventure. I would be very interested to hear more about your work. I have my dissertation link on my blog if you wish to have a wee read of it for more information. But more than that…well, just ask. I am very intrigued. Also, I just graduated from Art and Philosophy in Dundee, and we had a project on Foucault in second year, I was looking into heterotopic space, but did not make it very far. I think there were some links there between this idea of space and serendipity as a space…I will give it more though,

      I look forward to hearing from you
      (my email address; serendiptology@gmail.com)

      many thanks,
      eilidh

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