Installation view: OFFSITE show
Being Here (location: Duchess Trail, Once over the bridge go straight ahead where the path forks and you will soon find yourself at the work as indicated on the map.)
Human beings are terrestrial creatures; they live on the ground. That much appears at first glance to be obvious. But what is the ground? As a first approximation, we might suppose that it is a portion of the surface of the earth that is evident to the senses of an upright body. ‘To my senses’, wrote the philosopher Immanuel Kant, the earth appears as ‘a flat surface, with a circular horizon.’ This surface, for Kant, lies at the very foundation of human experience: it is ‘the stage on which the play of our skills proceeds [and] the ground on which our knowledge is acquired and applied’. 1 Everything that exists and that might form the object of our perception is placed upon this surface, rather as properties and scenery might be set upon the stage of a theatre. Beneath the surface lies the domain of formless matter, the physical stuff of the world. And above it lies the domain of immaterial form, of pure ideas or concepts, which the mind is said to bring to the evidence of the senses in order to organise the piecemeal data of experience into a systematic knowledge of the world as a whole – knowledge which Kant imagined to be arrayed as if on the surface of a sphere, at once continuous and finite in extent. With his feet firmly planted on the level ground and his mind soaring in the sphere of reason, the Kantian subject was above all a seeker after knowledge.
Ingold, Tim. The Life of Lines (p. 37). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.