: the place of the white dog

 

It is an audio-visual essay that explores the fragile balances of time and how we spend it. It includes selected clips from a film made by Justin Ascott in 1988 that follows Toby Harris, a philosopher vagabond.

I was interested in the romanticism that surrounds the philosopher vagabond and traced the concept back to Diogenes, one of the founders of the Cynic philosophy around 300 BC. He lived on the periphery of society and used his simple lifestyle and behavior to criticize the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt or at least confused society, and he declared himself a cosmopolitan and a citizen of the world. Some of the ascetic and rhetorical ideas of Cynicism later surfaced in various forms within Christianity. Cynicism was first taught in Athens at the Cynosarges gymnasium – the place of the white dog.