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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

One thing that intrigued me, reading about the Dreaming for this week’s class, is that everything must become “visible” to exist not just in the Dreaming, but also to become manifest in the world that we humans are a part of. In respect to the Augé that we discussed in one of our earliest classes, it occurred to me that, because this being visible requires such action on the part of the viewer that immediately and automatically there is some sort of engagement with the landscape, everywhere covered by the Aboriginal Dreaming must automatically also become a place, as Augé might define it, through that engagement. “Seeing” the Dreaming is an incredibly important part of viewing the landscape for the Pintupi that Meyers discusses, because Truth itself is defined by what can be seen and what cannot (49: “informants assured me of a Dreaming story’s truth by insisting they had seen the place where it happened.”) The passage between the Dreaming and the real, then, is an action that requires seeing and “visibility” – an event that requires a viewer – and instantly that becomes a place. I wonder, then, if the Pintupi would classify any place in the world as a non-place? If the Dreaming can extend to a camp beyond their traditional boundaries and be found to exist there as well, might it extend in their conception to the whole world?

This idea of the passage between Dreaming and real, as an event, really encapsulates what I’ve been struggling with as conceptualizing place and place-making as a something that occurs in both space and time. That passage, that event, is when a place becomes (“in the first place,” even!).