Monday, 2 April 2012

Field Study's Man in E17 returns from, 'The Robinson, Mereschkowski, Margulis Triangle'.







This week I found myself again in the germinating seed beds of Walthamstow searching for a lost expedition of Russian botanists, among them the spirit of Konstantin Mereschkowski. Their E17 field expedition was intended as a survey of the similarities between species of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, and of the symbiotic relationships between different organisms. Quite who they were intending to study, or who they studied, is a mystery. I'm sad to report I found no tangible trace of the inspirational botanists. I fear they may have mistakenly ventured along one of Walthamstow's public footpaths and were overwhelmed by a fall of dog dung. I made a similar mistake when following the retinal imprint of a branch and blossom map of Walthamstow. An approximation of this map found on Beulah Rd is reproduced below -


While the imagined loss of the expedition is a tragedy - the botanists legacy is well established. According to an account of Patrick Keiller's, Robinson, in 'Robinson in Ruins', the botanists had influenced the eminent biologist Lynn Margulis (1938-2011). Robinson, according to the narration and commentary on his anti-capitalist perambulations, was 'inclined to biophylia, love of life and living systems, having discovered Lynn Margulis' view that symbiotic relationships between organisms, often of different phyla, are a primary force in evolution'. Interestingly my hastily hand written transcription of the commentary rendered 'living' as a cursively scribbled 'lung'.

The Beulah Rd branch and blossom map reveals a number of triangles and I have ventured into one of them - the Robinson, Mereschkowski, Margulis Triangle. It is here, or there, I heard the echoes of a 'denunciation of neo-Darwinism and all capitalistic competitive cost benefit interpretations of Darwin' - another comment transcipted from the narration to, 'Robinson in Ruins'. The echo may have been of birdsong; birds singing denunciations of cost benefit interpretations while a foxglove sways in a gentle breeze.

On the subject of Darwin, I recently discovered this field video clip recorded in August 2006, at the Natural History Museum -

video

At the time of that visit, Natural History Museum visitors were required as a part of the queuing to perform an evolutionary devolutionary stroll -

video

Field Study's Man in E17 is currently mapping some of the tomato seed beds of Walthamstow.

 tomato seedlings undercover

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