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  • Underwhelming Fossil Fish of the Month: July 2016

    By Mark Carnall, on 28 July 2016

    Welcome to the 44th underwhelming fossil fish of the month! I did some calculations and that’s 3.6666666666667 years of underwhelming fossil fish. Lesser websites would call that a cause for celebration but for UFFotM, we don’t let such astonishing milestones get in the way of a dry and boring examination of a fossil fish from the Grant Museum of Zoology’s collections.

    As you probably undoubtedly know, London Art Week was earlier this month and the Victoria and Albert Museum won the 2016 ArtFund Museum of Year Award so this month’s underwhelming fossil fish is brought to you in the style of a “gallery-based celebration of pre-contemporary art” in solidarity with our colleagues across the Arts sector and in the hope of an award too.

    PLACODERMES DE LA TERRE

    Underwhelming fossil fish explores the relationship between post-life sensibilities and heritage ethics.

    Ever since I was a small child I have been fascinated by the unrelenting diversity of coccosteid ways of being and the abecedarian efforts for arrangement. What starts out as yearning soon becomes manipulated into a dialectic of distress, leaving only a sense of unreality and the unlikelihood of a new synthesis.

    Pennyland, the ancestral home of this fossile fragment, is nostalgia for the Middle to Late Devonian strata throughout Europe. As intermittent derivatives become distorted through emergent and academic practice, the viewer is left with a hymn to the possibilities of our condition.*

    01 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present) Millerosteus minor  LDUCZ-V989

    01 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present) Millerosteus minor  LDUCZ-V989

    02 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present)  No. 5, 2016 LDUCZ-V989

    02 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present)  No. 5, 2016 LDUCZ-V989

    03 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present) The Fragment of Fish  LDUCZ-V989

    03 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present) The Fragment of Fish  LDUCZ-V989

    04 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present) Ceci n'est pas un poisson fossile décevante LDUCZ-V989

    04 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present) Ceci n’est pas un poisson fossile décevante LDUCZ-V989

    05 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present) The Perfect Place to Graze LDUCZ-V989

    05 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present) The Perfect Place to Graze LDUCZ-V989

    06 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present) The (Re)Creation of Fossil LDUCZ-V989

    06 Natural forces (13.8Gya-Present) The (Re)Creation of Fossil LDUCZ-V989

    Millerosteus minor(?)
    Preservation: To be a fossil is to believe in death (2)
    Research: Palaeontology is not what you see, but what you make others see (7)
    In Society: Ichnology is an extinct animal that went for a walk (2)
    Underwhelmingness: Taphonomy make perfection, and perfection is no taphonomy (8)

    *Help with the contemporary art interpretation from http://www.artybollocks.com/#abg_full

    Mark Carnall is the Collections Manager (Life Collections) at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and former Curator of the Grant Museum

     

    One Response to “Underwhelming Fossil Fish of the Month: July 2016”

    • 1
      Helen Chavez wrote on 3 August 2016:

      Ever since I began reading UFFotM I have been fascinated by the essential underwhelmingness of fossil fish in all of their guises. What started out as hope soon became corrupted into a dialectic of defeat, leaving only a sense of failing and the dawn of new understanding.

      As wavering palaeological theorems become transformed through diligent and critical practice, I have, unfortunately, been left with a tribute to the inaccuracies of our era.

      With regard to the issue of content, the disjunctive perturbation of the spatial relationships brings within the realm of discourse the distinctive formal juxtapositions.

      As an advocate of the Big Mac Aesthetic, I feel that the optical suggestions of the fishy motifs endangers the devious simplicity of the distinctive formal juxtapositions.

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