The first issue of the New York Magazine of Contemporary Art and Theory comprises an essay by Boris Groys entitled “The Loneliness of the Project.” There is an uncertain future ahead of me, and in an attempt to write the unwritten, I have been putting forward many different possibilities, waiting to see which, if any, of these possible futures resonate with others. Groys characterizes these attempts to make real in this way:
The formulation of diverse projects has now become the major preoccupation of contemporary man. These days, whatever endeavour one sets out to pursue in the economic, political or cultural field, one first has to formulate a fitting project in order to apply for official approval or funding of the project from one or several public authorities…this mode of project formulation is gradually advancing to an art form in its own right whose significance for our society is still all too little acknowledged. For, regardless of whether or not it is actually carried out, each project in fact represents a draft for a particular vision of the future, and in each case one that can be fascinating and instructive.
It is charming to think of each of these missives as a possible future, as frameworks upon which to build unpredictable, uncertain, yet focused coming histories. Of course, the majority of these will fall flat, but the collective detritus of what does not come to be is surely as illuminating as what actually does take shape. Curiosity guides our attention. In science, the structure of an experiment’s hypothesis impacts what questions are put to the results, and how these outcomes are interpreted. In art, well, it’s much the same really. Our proposals about what the future could become effect the coming world we will live in.
This evening I wonder about collectivity, about how shared concerns or experiences can be leveraged to materialize particular common goals, especially as they relate to issues around identity. To what ends, solidarity?