- A total absence of information about a given subject usually solicits no curiosity: without an awareness of its existence, we can't possibly care about it;
- When we come to realise the existence of something we never knew was there before, our curiosity is sparked: What is it? How does it work? What should we call it? Why is it there? But we remain in the early stages of our ability to recognise and read it;
- We attempt to accumulate information and, while additional research provides many answers, it also reveals additional questions, fuelling more curiosity still;
- At a certain point – at the top of the bell curve – we come to a place where effective discussion and debate is possible, but much still remains speculation. It is a moment of intense scrutiny and educated hypothesising when questions, answers, contradictions, controversy, desire, violence, disappointment and determination make up a complex system;
- Little by little, though, speculation gives way to consensus. The power structures that make up the socio-political fabric begin enforcing their choices. The many questions gather around common answers, and information becomes more and more organised, making the transition into 'the understood';
- Sinking into 'the understood', our given subject provokes less and less curiosity;
- Eventually, we have a dictionary definition.
This progression is also a loop: thanks to scientific, artistic or intellectual pioneers – from Copernicus to Duchamp – common assumptions about the world are second-guessed, challenged, and 'the understood' once again becomes 'no longer understood', prompting the cycle to begin anew.