Desperate times call for desperate, artful measures.
Our relationship with time gets distorted when we are desperate. We fail to see beyond the immediate woes, and forget the long range vision of our persistent hunter ancestors, who ran 6, 7 hours covering distances equivalent of full marathons to track and tire animals down, guided by nothing but sheer stubbornness, self-belief, and determination (Heinrich 2002). We’re asking politicians, epidemiologists, economists, behavioural scientists and so on about systemic change, but forget that artists, writers and filmmakers have always helped us project far ahead, imagining new systems, be they utopian, dystopian or multitudes of shades of greys in between — Orwell’s 1982, Kubrick’s 2001, Marker’s post World War III in La Jetée are but a few examples. We forget that times of crisis and austerity are precisely when we need to build and develop our creative and cultural capacity, and invest in the arts and culture. Hans-Ulrich Obrist reminds us that Roosevelt did that when he set up the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression in the 1930s, and calls for a bold multimillion-pound public art project to support cultural institutions now, and to help create a new generation of artists.
‘2050’. That is about one generation from where/when we are. #MagicCarpet has taught me that that only critiquing the status quo from ‘safe spaces’, adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude, or (still) dreaming of a total revolution don’t suffice anymore. A culture-change expert shares with me that being counter-cultural isn’t enough – we need to co-create solutions (Schelde 2020) – I like that. Thus, my current work is framed around the leadership of artists and art practice to catalyse and co-create future-facing collective visions. In such dark times of COVID-19, we need to remember that there is a future. We cannot lose hope, which is a ‘gift’, a ‘power’ that we must hold on to, as we visualise our own roles in shaping this future (Solnit 2017). Get in touch to realise my visions with me.
Caption for top image: Still representing a proposal from circa 2012, as part of my durational performance Kaidie and her 1000-Day Trans-Run 12.12.2009-09.09.2012) in my doctorate exploration The physical and poetic processes of running. A practice-related fine art discourse about a playful way to transform your world today which has been downloaded 4333 times between Summer 2014-April 2020.