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RESEARCH WEEK: John Reid, Fishman of SE Australia, Presentation

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Southern Cross University, Gold Coast Campus

Southern Cross Dr

Bilinga, QLD 4225

Australia

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Venue: A/2/04 Gold Coast Campus

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It is a habit of social beings to write (if they are able) when alone in remote locations. My journal has many such entries and, in turn, many of those chart my responses to Fishman as thoughts and deeds.

In anticipation of this presentation, I reviewed these mental sketches and found several that were clearly not written for my own edification.

They are passages of fighting words advancing and retreating in argument with correspondents who at the time were distant, passing figures in the landscape of the mind. Time does its work./ These human apparitions who belong to the text return, come closer and identify themselves. So it is, that on the 29th August 2017, it will be for you, Dear Audience, that I wrote the following:

‘I return to Canberra from the wilderness of the SE vitalised with clear missions; yet, disorientated in terms of my hitherto enduring personal philosophy. I know all things are a construct of the mind; yet, my mind had constructed in Fishman something that knew me before I knew myself. Through my obsession with this shy and illusive creature, I discovered the power of silence. I discovered the power of advocacy. I discovered a discovery. I endured skepticism armed with nothing more than human testament. I attracted as believers people who value imagination as much as knowledge. I aggravated as detractors people who have been suffocated by reason. I repelled in twitches those who have lost their sense of wonder.

Amid this, I rationally formulated art strategies. I secured Fishman from the scrutiny of destrucftive scientific method. Fishman, I discovered, was a fine art discovery not a scientific one. I have published my findings within the visual arts to effect the public perception of my experiences of Fishman as parable and as allegory. I elevated Fishman from fact/specimen to fiction/symbol. I collaborated with journalists to build Fishman as super media myth so that the idea/image of it could be put to work in our mass mediated society - in campaigns to save old growth forests and in promotions to create national parks.

‘If we lose wild places from our heritage we lose places here on Earth where we can teach our children how to wonder’.

John Reid, May 1998

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Southern Cross University, Gold Coast Campus

Southern Cross Dr

Bilinga, QLD 4225

Australia

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