The specious voyages
specious 1.superficially plausible but actually wrong, 2.misleadingly attractive in appearance. f. Latin specere look. [appearance, kind, beauty]. As in: specimen, species, special, specific, spectacle, speculation, etc.
Some notes from the Specious Voyages –
Sometime in the late 20th century I embarked on this voyage, departing the home shores for new territories, ever hopeful of encountering the strange, the extra-ordinary.
Any voyage out is also, curiously, a voyage inwards as well. There are facts and experiences to be digested and assimilated as we circumnavigate the heart of the matter.
Here is presented evidence from the most recent voyages to that mysterious and vast continent Terra Recognita. This collection of fabulations, a museological tableau, is arranged for your edification and divertissement.
The narrative of the journey is re-constructed with maps of the territories crossed, and the instrumentation used for navigation and measurement of data. Of the many anomalous species collected, I have been able to reconstitute some in the laboratory and represent them in artificial reconstructions of their natural environment.
This treatise is made possible through a noble tradition in the realm of field studies, which stretches back to the 19th century, when rigid distinctions between professional and amateur did not apply. The value of such field research may not be apparent to those more inclined to follow the pre-scribed rules, those who may be a little afraid of wild facts and untamed speculation.
However even while assuming a modern and anti-discriminating position we are nonetheless still honouring past methodologies and specifically Humboldt’s [dictum] “in considering the study of physical phenomena…in its general influence on the intellectual advancement of mankind…its most important result [is] knowledge of the chain of connection.”
(Alexander Von Humboldt, Kosmos, 1845. Quoted in The Fontana History of the Environmental Sciences by Peter J. Bowler.)
An endangered species, this elegant Feathered Dandyfly (Avicula phantasis) realises what has been happening to his disappearing cousins when he chances across the nest of a Wagala. The main predator of these dramatic insects, the Wagala, after consuming their flesh, uses their distinctive wings to feather her nest.
The Specious Voyages was shown at the Jam Factory, Adelaide and the Museum of Brisbane in 2005-2006
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
See the next stage of the Voyages: The Evolution of Specious