Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Creatives versus Doomers: WE Are the Planet

by • October 13th, 2013

Twiliocon-developer renaissance 2013-09-19 at 7.41.52 PM

Neal Stephenson has said that he is interested in “the attention span of our society” and comments that we have “350 years of perspective” on the scientific process. In the face of climate disruption, can Cultural Creatives prove the Doomers and Deniers wrong? This week, a symposium at UMass Amherst aims to “Harvest Hope.”

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Slow Learning vs Fast Living

by • July 8th, 2013

Turning the World Upside Down

I can only offer what I know, what I have learned, slowly and at the cost of many dear relationships. Diversity matters. The differences among us are more important than the similarities, because they enable creativity. Here we are, thrown into consciousness and connection. What shall we make of this precious chance?

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The ANSWER . . . is DIRT (the question is irrelevant)

by • July 6th, 2013

cows save the planet

One of the challenges of inspiring people to care about transforming land to better grow food is making the lifestyle appealing. So far, no go! The aesthetic is monotone: white people playing folk music. This is seriously problematic! Forging alliances is not easy work, but it is meaningful labor.

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A Temporal Turn?

by • May 16th, 2012

Closing scene, Fantasia Opus 3, the fantastic range of children's dreams.

“What is the purpose of dialogue?” Are Dialogue Under Occupation conference participants in the process of producing a work of critical art? Or are these conferences solely labor – the repetition of rituals that must be performed in order to satisfy and maintain professional credentials? Could we somehow manage to do both? Examples include the film Rabat, asking questions about symbolism entailed in labels such as the Green Line, and exploring Dr Makram Ouaiss’ point that non-violence is understudied, proven effective, and morally legitimate.

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Fantasia

by • May 15th, 2012

Celebrating a student production of collective memories from their childhoods in Lebanon..

“Communication arts are the future…” I depart Beirut as I entered, awash in serendipity. Back in whaling days, the Captain’s cabin was a private refuge. Entry by others was privileged and rare. Generous gifts of time and talk throughout my stay dance questions among the neurons of my mind.

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I Sing the Body Electric (Walt Whitman on Hip Hop)

by • April 8th, 2012

Performing "I Sing the Body Electric" in the 1980 film, Fame.

Through me the afflatus surging and surging . . . . through me the current and index.
Whatever goes to the tilth of me it shall be you,
You my rich blood, your milky stream pale strippings of my life;
Breast that presses against other breasts it shall be you,
My brain it shall be your occult convolutions,
Root of […]

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Occupying the Crisis of Whiteness

by • November 1st, 2011

Kimmie, involved in making the acclaimed film <em>Precious</em>, came to OWS the first chance she could.

The distinctions between being a white American and the institutional structures of whiteness are important. First, the structures of whiteness are ‘in’ Americans of all ethnicities to some degree, even if only by necessity in order to survive (let alone do well) in today’s hyperdrive commercial/consumer-based society. Second: to understand the difference between the genetic-social fact of being white and the institutional structures of whiteness is to realize that the issues raised by the Occupy Wall Street movement are not about white Americans trying to get over or above anybody else. Instead, this could be the historical moment when middle-class white Americans begin to demonstrate a widespread cultural awareness that whiteness – both the personal sense of superiority, and as institutionalized in ‘the rules’ – is not fair to anyone.

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Why Millennials Need DayGlow

by • May 19th, 2011

Facebook commentary after viewing the video

In “DayGlow Makes Us Normal,” students blend a sharp knowledge of context with an unapologetic stance in support of ‘the blue pill’ – meaning an uncritical embrace of technology, particularly in terms of how it can be used to serve the needs of the self. These young people show us that they are doing their best to deal with everything; however surviving means sometimes choosing not to know in order to have the ‘escape’ that recharges them to be able to carry on….The other video is less ambiguous, showing more of the Red Pill approach through some critical juxtapositions that seem to ask “Do We Have to Be This Way?”

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