looking ahead

5 January 2010 | by | In process

Marek and I have been reading about the upcoming 01SJ Biennial put on by ZER01 and others, and taking place in San Jose, CA in September.

We’re super excited about the show, and especially about the possibility of participating in it, as it seems exactly in line with many of the ideas we are interested in with [here][now]. Mainly that people can not just affect, but literally shape their world, just by participating in it. The path to meaningful change consists of thoughtful observation, conceptualization, and confidence in the belief that we all possess the capacity to re-program our environment.

Some literature about the show proposes that contributing artists are “invited to either interpret the UN Millennium Development Goals or to propose goals of their own.” The goals are listed as:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

The thing that initially strikes me about all these items (except for perhaps the last) is just that they are such massive problems despite many possible solutions existing, and despite the fact that most people clearly agree they are problems.

One reason for this disconnect — between the world we all want and the world we have — is our inability to recognize our ability/responsibility to change things. In this “information age” now more than ever before, as life becomes data and data becomes digital, we all possess the capacity to reprogram the pathways and architectures that define society. Technology can be a democratizing force or it can simply reiterate past structures. The key is to recognize and harness it’s distributed capacity, to realize that we can come together to talk to each other, and collaborate to visualize and make the future.

© Walczak & Solomon