Cities for People

For the next year, at the invitation of Musagetes, I will be contributing to the dialogue at Cities for People, a research project and collaborative experiment looking at how the tenets of resilience theory can be usefully applied to our social world. Operating from four perspectives—governance, the economy, the built environment and culture—the project aims to describe the ways our North American cities and societies are currently shifting. If we better understand how the different aspects of our communal lives intersect, the hope is that we can mount suitable responses to the challenges awaiting us, such as a changing climate, overpopulation, the unethical concentration of wealth, austerity politics, neoliberalism, access to clean air and water, access to healthy food, racism, sexism, urbanization, et cetera. I will be focusing on the arts, on the ways that artists’ practices might be described through resilience theory, but also exploring the ways that artists are already employing (or challenging) its doctrines in their works. My first posts are up now (an introduction to myself, an introduction to my methodology and a profile on entrepreneur Lisa Baroldi) and as I begin to deeply engage the project, I realize it is asking me to take seriously the claim that art can do things, real things, change-the-world kinds of things. I predict I will be disappointed at times, but I’m sure that that won’t be the end of it. If nothing else, this is an opportunity to consider how better to leverage art to do the things I wish it to do. Surely art is not so different from the practice than science, in that we can effect change by way of it—a tool to use in service of a vision, complete with unbreakable parametres. Or so this will be my task to demonstrate.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s