Reflecting on the practice of archaeology, Gabriel D. Wrobel and Stacey Camp talk about staring at a site and you will start noticing things:

I brought my father to a site where workers had removed the thick foliage so archaeologists could thoroughly map the site. Another archaeologist and I excitedly discussed the visible architectural features – patios, terraces, the stubs of walls. Finally, my dad threw his hands up in the air and said “All I see are rocks!”
But our trained eyes recognized that the piles of stones or earthen mounds we saw were suspiciously aligned. Stare at archaeological sites long enough and you’ll notice them too.

Mark Binelli talks about the way in which Frederick Wiseman makes documentaries from found objects.

He sees himself, he told me, like an artist who makes work from found objects, except in his case, the art is assembled from found events.

Sometimes such a practice involves instilling constraints as Matthew Herbert outlines in his ‘found sounds’ manifesto.

This reminds me of what Alan Levine calls a noticing pattern and being open to the space you are in

Liked TAoN #32: Do It Again (

Pick some cultural object right now that made an impression on you, and make it a top priority to revisit it.

Maybe this experience will be disappointing, or maybe it will be invigorating. Doesn’t matter. Take it for what it is.

Consider how you have changed, and how you haven’t. Consider whether you should return to the same cultural object one year from now.

Bookmarked The art of noticing: five ways to experience a city differently (the Guardian)

If you want to maintain or revive your sense of really attending to city environments, a good starting point is to give yourself simple criteria: what’s going on here that nobody particularly wants me to notice? What has no campaign behind it to seize my attention?

This could mean noticing a charming architectural detail that is not flashy enough to be in a guidebook, having a spontaneous conversation with a friendly stranger or just attending to something as elemental as the sound or smell of a place.

This openness is easier when we’re in tourist mode. When visiting a new place we pay attention to everything, it seems. The ecologist Liam Heneghan invented a word for this mindset: allokataplixis, combining the Greek allo, meaning “other,” and katapliktiko, meaning “wonder.” But it is possible to recapture a bit of allokataplixis now and then even in your home city, if you make an effort to break and vary your routines.

Rob Walker shares five ways to notice more in your city, taken from my book, The Art of Noticing:

  • Look for ghosts and ruins
  • Get there the hard way
  • Eat somewhere dubious
  • Read the plaque
  • Follow the quiet

This is a useful list to support my exploration of flanerie this year. It also adds to other strategies shared by Alan Levine and Amy Burvall.

Bookmarked Researching Your Own Practice: The Discipline of Noticing by CEM (eDirector's News)

One of the key ideas in Mason’s book involves the pitfalls of teachers acting by routine only. Professionals become professionals, he acknowledges, by developing perceptions and skills, and by ‘routinising’ them. But Mason says that routines also deaden us. When things seem familiar and we react according to pattern or habit, we may not really be seeing what’s there. That means that we may not be doing as well as we might. The art of noticing is to keep open to new perceptions while standing on the base of skills, routines, and knowledge that enables us to function as well as we do. The discipline of noticing is to keep such noticing productive, and this is at the core of Mason’s agenda.

A short summary of Researching Your Own Practice: The Discipline of Noticing by John Mason