The Faculty of Minor Disturbances

An introduction

The contributions to this issue of Place by Rita Cachao, Edith Doove and Michael Punt all emerge from a virtual entity for creative collaboration called the Faculty of Minor Disturbances. The Faculty has become part of the recently revived Currer Bell College, a virtual college at ESADHaR Le Havre/Rouen, partner of Transtechnology Research at Plymouth, and Seiza at Lisbon. Doove has written a history of the Faculty and a version of it is included here although as she points out any suggestion that this is definitive or even relevant should be treated with caution. Members of the Faculty of Minor Disturbances meet fortnightly for one hour to develop collaborative projects that capture the spirit of pataphysical principles. One major project this year was an art work designed to shake the universe called the comet (we used lower case to reflect our humility).  We invited a global community of about 250 artists to create a creative minor disturbance at precisely at noon (12 GMT) on the 8th of December 2019. We asked them to take a moment and collaborate with colleagues, friends or other life forms to perform a creative act in their preferred form, shape, location, way of life and reality. We expected that this distributed act of creativity would adjust some of the wobbles in the planets. Attached to the invitation was one of 676 anaglyphic images which were produced by Rita Cachao a short contextualization of the process of developing these images and some examples are included in this edition of Place. Another of our ambitions was to build a collection of short stories rather as an exquisite corpse of accounts of insects boring their way through a pile of books. We intend there to be seven stories all told and Punt’s contribution The World Viewed: The Silverfish and the Broken Planets comprises a contribution to this project in the form of a non-human fiction and a video, Broken Planet, which documents an alternative (non-human) universe in keeping with his Impossible Orrery series published in last year’s edition of Place.


The Faculty continues its underground work of disturbing and re-formulating the inner organs of academia with many more projects in progress. Some of these exists in a virtual realm (provisional histories, stories), others comprise what is generally accepted as matter (drawings, prints and objects etc.) and some of the best are great ideas that keep the Faculty busy. But the important aspect of our collaboration is that creativity and decision making is collective and the concepts and forms of the outcomes are also distributed across material and so-called virtual platforms in a non-hierarchical fashion. As a consequence, the Faculty is especially grateful to the editors of Place (and its multimodal vision) for affording us this opportunity to pursue our mission as artists, historians and writers to work between and across worlds with a fluid freedom.