Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Before and After the Fall

With the final waves of consumerism, speculation, and materialism finally washing over us, we are faced with poring over the remains of a system in a slow pattern of collapse. What felt like the go-go era just a few months back is now beginning to appear as the phantasmagoria of smoke and mirrors that was sold and marketed as the age of consumption. At this juncture and among the wreckage, new approaches to collective action must be found. Ones that provide the opportunity to regain a sense of community, and nurture the inherent value of participating in strategies, processes, and actions that point to a more sustainable model built on the remains of the old.

Indeed this approach is what the arts best signify, the emergence of potentiality, of new forms, of a space in which the dominant can be renegotiated and bypassed. With this in mind Big City Forum hopes to be a space in which we can tap into the wealth of innovative approaches represented by the group and push forth an agenda that calls for framing complex issues through dialogue and collaborative inquiry. Ultimately the goal is to sidestep scholarly discourse and identify action oriented projects that begin to permeate the space of the everyday. New networks of collaboration to be nurtured that imbue these practices into areas that demand reinvention and innovation, such as our crumbling public education system...imagine if the multiplicity of projects presented can be developed as new content and curriculum to engage students in meaningful, real life learning...hmm.

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