Stay Where You Are is a year-long project in which four artists and writers pause to reflect on the appeal of the local
About, Journal / November 18, 2014

A selection of quotes from key thinkers relating to the themes of locality, self-reliance and simplicity explored in various ways throughout Stay Where You Are.

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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing through other eyes.” – Marcel Proust


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“[A]t the very same moment when it becomes possible to think in terms of the unity of terrestrial space, and the big multinational networks grow strong, the clamour of particularism rises; clamour from those who want to stay at home in peace, clamour from those who want to find a mother country.” – Marc Augé, Non-Places


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“A stationary condition of capital and population implies no stationary state of human improvement. There would be as much scope as ever for all kinds of mental culture, and moral and social progress, as much room for improving the Art of Living, and much more likelihood of its being improved. All the mechanical inventions yet made have … enabled a greater population to live the same life of drudgery and imprisonment, and an increased number of manufacturers and others to make fortunes.” – John Stuart Mill, The Art of Living



“I promised myself I would live alone in a cabin for a few months. Cold, silence and solitude are conditions that tomorrow will become more valuable than gold. On an overpopulated, overheated and noisy planet, a forest cabin is an Eldorado. Over 900 miles to the south, China is humming with a billion and a half human beings running out of water, wood and space. Living in the forest next to the world’s largest reserve of fresh water is a luxury. One day, the Saudi oilmen, the Indian nouveaux riches and the Russian businessmen who drag their ennui around the marble halls of palaces will understand this. Then it will be time to go a step up in latitude to the tundra. Happiness will lie beyond the 60th parallel north.” – Sylvain Tesson, Consolations of the Forest



“When I am in the country, I wish to vegetate like the country. I am not for criticising hedgerows and black cattle. I go out of town in order to forget the town and all that is in it. There are those who for this purpose go to watering-places and carry the metropolis with them. I like more elbow-room and fewer encumbrances. I like solitude, when I give myself up to it, for the sake of solitude” – William Hazlitt, On Going a Journey​



“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods