Manufactured History, a reflection


Lacuna (plural lacunae or lacunas)

       [1] A small opening; a small pit or depression; a small blank space; a gap or vacancy; a hiatus.
       [2] An absent part, especially in a book or other piece of writing, often referring to an ancient manuscript or similar such.
             e.g. "Long lacunae in this inscription make interpretation difficult."
       [3] (microscopy) A space visible between cells, allowing free passage of light.
       [4] (translation studies) A language gap, which occurs when there is no direct translation in the target language for a lexical term found in the source language

from Wiktionary, 15.04.2018


In creating these blog posts, it felt like there was an arbitrary responsibility placed on me, to sift through all the material and information I found related to the posters, decide what was most interesting, significant, strange, compelling, etc. At the end of the day, it was me who made the choice about what to highlight or show, and I’m not sure what “intuitive” or learned ideologies were influencing me in what I felt was important...

I dwelled upon the accidents that allow some information to survive, allowing us to piece together the past, while much is lost. We can never know everything about history. I wonder, what exactly is in those voids where there is no information. We draw conclusions based on what we have and what we know; we also may draw conclusions based on how we wish the world would be. 

There’s also a pervading sense that there is nothing we can’t know. That all knowledge belongs to us, should we choose to access it. In what circumstances is it possible to admit there is not enough information available to draw any conclusions? The term "lacuna" is sometimes used in research to describe exactly this void; but in my opinion it could be used much more often: how do you know what you do not know?

Who decides what gets preserved and carried forward to inform our world today? I imagine it is connected with wealth and/or power - that those would have the means, influence, and physical resources to preserve material which otherwise would have been lost to the elements. I think about this often with art history, about what kind of drawings might have been on fragile papers that were lost and destroyed due to all kinds of circumstances. 

There are still quite a few posters that I have yet to research, so I am presenting them here for the viewer to conduct their own unique research, and decide themselves what might be interesting or significant about the content of these posters.   Click or tap on image to view in full.