At Work

About

Hello and welcome to your favourite new thing on the Internet. It will go like this. In a scene of High Fidelity John Cusack’s character is showing his record collection to a friend. The friend notices a logical pattern behind the order in which the albums are placed, but he cannot pinpoint it.

‘I guess it looks as if you’re reorganizing your records. What is this though? Chronological?’
‘No…’
‘Not alphabetical…’
‘Nope.’
‘What?’
‘Autobiographical.’
‘No fuckin’ way.’

Culture, in its broadest definition, is intellectual practices of humanity. This website is an autobiographical account of cultural experiences. Those range from books to music to online advertisements to trying tortilla de patatas in a street café in Madrid. Everything counts.

The Name

The name Chance & Physics comes from a conversation I once had at the bottom of Magdalen Tower in Oxford. In a company that had gathered to see me graduate, we started talking about religion. It was suggested atheism was the logical state of any modern-day educated person. I argued against that claim. Warm March wind tickled the gargoyles on Magdalen College. I said:

‘I guess I refuse to believe that everything is just chance and physics.’

I am not limiting my objects of interest. The world is my object of interest. Living in a certain place (Oxford) at a certain time (2017) will influence the topics, but not determine them. I have been brought up by wolves and the Internet. I am, therefore, omnivorous.

Portrait of the Author
PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR. MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, OXFORD. MARCH 2016. MARIA GALLIANI DYRVIK / CHANCE & PHYSICS

The Author

My name is Katariina Kottonen, and I am the one-woman orchestra behind Chance & Physics. You may call me Kat. If you wish to call me Kat to my face, the Contact page will come in useful.

I am a writer, a cinephile, a photographer and mad about peanut butter. My blood is Finnish and Russian, although, at this point, heavily diluted with English tea. I live in Oxford and am working on the concept of time-travel. So far, reading provides the closest resemblance.

Chance & Physics is a reflection of the cultural phenomena I find captivating. That includes Music Mondays when I review new albums and Fashion Fridays when I explore the meaning of fedoras and pussyhats, of corduroy and cufflinks. There are also my Summer Adventures, the annual Oscar Count, and other recurring topics — such as Out in Oxford and The Complete Works of Agatha Christie.

The list of my favourite authors opens with Kurt Vonnegut and David Lynch, but, in addition to dark irony, I am also fond of kittens. Of little kittens and feminism.

Now that the introductions have been made, come on in and make yourself at home. We have got a lot to discuss.

Monkeys as Judges of Art
MONKEYS AS JUDGES OF ART. 1889. GABRIEL CORNELIUS VON MAX / WIKIPEDIA

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