Reflections on the Invisible
It’s a real pleasure to be one of the members of the AHRC Network “Picturing the Invisible”. The project brings together leading academics from a wide range of disciplines including Art & Design, Curatorial Practice, Literature, Forensic Science, Fashion, Medical Science, Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy, Philosophy, Astrophysics and Architecture with a shared interest in exploring how, in each discipline, we strive to find expression for the invisible or unknown.
The Dictionary of Invisible Meanings takes shape from the observation that one of the most important barriers to cross-disciplinary collaboration is the different use of language between disciplines. The same terms take on very different meanings across different disciplines, often in contrast with their more commonplace, colloquial usage. This thread of the work of the Network aims to bring to the fore some of the multi-layered meanings that words often hide: words that are transparent signifiers to those who are educated in a specific discipline become (wittingly or unwittingly) opaque barriers to understanding by and communication with those outside the field.
The Dictionary exploits the inherent cross-disciplinary makeup of the Network members and asks them to to build bridges across meanings. This work attempts to stimulate reflection on what the different usages reflect in terms of disciplinary practice, to highlight commonalities, to surprise with unsuspected differences, and to delight with a fuller perception of multi-faceted disciplinary inflections.