January 29, 2014 | Category: Blog | Author:

“The Culture of Possibility”

From Arlene Goldbard’s book The Culture of Possibility: Art, Artists & the Future

We are in the midst of seismic cultural change. In the old paradigm, priorities are shaped by a mechanistic worldview that privileges whatever can be numbered, measured, and weighed; human beings are pressured to adapt to the terms set by their own creations. …

In the new paradigm, culture is given its true value. The movements of money and armies may receive close attention from politicians and media voices, but at ground-level, we care most about human stories, one life at a time. Our deepest debates, our obsessions, our consolations, and our most purely discretionary choices about where to deploy our resources and attention are conveyed through sound, image, and movement, in the vocabulary of art. …

In the old paradigm, humanity is stuck. By the time an issue is prepared for public consumption—by the time that dueling positions have been extruded like so much media sausage stuffed with empty platitudes—there is very little room to move. In the new paradigm, our prodigious powers of imagination open portals to the future through alternate scenarios that respond to social conditions without being constrained by orthodoxies. There are multiple sides to every story, and many stories lead to something worth trying.

The bridge between paradigms is being built by artists and others who have learned to deploy artists’ cognitive, imaginative, empathic, and narrative skills. The bridge is made of the stories that the old paradigm can’t hear, the lives that it doesn’t count, the imagined future it can’t encompass.”