“One curiosity leads to another.” Bebina Bunny
Recently I read Matteo Farinella’s article “Alexander von Humboldt” where he makes reference to Andrea Wulf’s “The Invention of Nature”. It was a happy read as I discovered Farinella (illustrator of “Neurocomic”), Wulf and von Humboldt all in one article.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was addicted to curiosity. Interested in geography, nature, science, and philosophy, he left his native Prussia to explore the world to feed his addiction. And the more he explored, the more he realized how all his curiosities were interrelated. This led to his many volume treatise “Kosmos”, where he pursued the unification of all knowledge instead of trying to isolate one idea from another. Von Humboldt perceived the universe as holistic—just one big entangled family and not just groups of unrelated entities.
Curiosity leads to knowledge. That’s why the gods considered it an evil (ex. The Tree of Knowledge that got Adam & Eve in trouble and the vindictive Zeus and Pandora’s Box). The more the gods could control knowledge, the more they could control mankind.
But curiosity leads to important discoveries. There’s the example of Heinrich Schliemann’s discovery of Troy as well as that of the 15 year old Canadian, William Gadoury, who recently discovered a Mayan city by studying the stars.
“Bebina Bunny’s Cabinet of Curiosities” is a tribute to curiosity. It is the story of a cabinet of curiosity created not with objects but with mindful pursuits of curiosity. These pursuits are materialized by being written down, rolled up and placed into empty bottles. Bebina, realizing that curiosity not only makes the world bigger but provides us with options, strives at collecting enough of these curiosity filled bottles to fill a room so she can create her own unique wunderkammer.
Related: Paris as a Cabinet of Curiosities