10 Thoughts.

An ongoing checklist for working in the world.

  1. Embrace complexity. Complex challenges require nuanced approaches. Avoid simplifying complexities to dichotomies, communities are complex organisms. The thirdspace is the realm of possibility, and requires a hybrid practice that is multifaceted, generative, and responsive. Complexity is uncomfortable. Become comfortable being uncomfortable.
  2. Awareness, exploration, and place. The best way to understand something is to experience it, to be there, to ask, to document, and to reflect. Awareness is key to social engagement.
  3. The personal is political, the local is global. Create work that engages an audience in local surroundings, generate a connection to larger issues through the discussion of individual experience. Always connect societal observations to personal experience. Meet people where they are.
  4. The poetic of notice. Be open to seeing what is there, minute and mundane details can tell profound stories. Connection to the physical reality, emotional significance, and historical context of a place engages the people who live there. Investigate the forms (social, economic, political, educational, etc) that structure our communities, these are the sites for change.
  5. History tells us who we are, and why we are who we are. Everyone, to an extent, is involved in a search for identity and connection to a larger societal narrative. Seek this connection through direct means, research of actual realities, and translation of observation into communicated perspective. We understand our own identity through the study of the contexts in which we live.
  6. Broader audience, larger impact. Through the use of a variety of languages (historic, scientific, social, etc., etc.) and a diversity of means (conversation, media, exhibitions, performance, event, etc.) increase the audience/ venue for ideas, understanding, and impact. The goal is meaningful dialogue; the means should therefore maximize multilevel communication in a significant and nuanced way.
  7. Finding islands in the ocean of information. We have access to tremendous and overwhelming information. This is an opportunity for knowledge but also generates a need for connection to simpler truths. Create resting places; a time/space to consider our surroundings, contemplate context, and be aware of the present. Finding the moment in the momentary.
  8. The knowledge is in the street. The production of knowledge happens through the application of ideas in real contexts, engaging in real questions, with real people. Leaving the safety of the classroom/ theoretical involves risk. We must risk to experience, we must experience to learn, we must learn to understand.
  9. First, do no harm. Be generous, thoughtful, and considered in action. Your actions will play out differently than expected, this is an opportunity, be humble and listen. Form partnerships and support each other, combine efforts and avoid duplication.
  10. Community is a conversation. Be a part of it. Questions drive every conversation. Be active in the generation of questions, be active in their possible answers, be active in more questions. Ask, Listen, Act, Repeat.